Fewer Americans feel happy and satisfied in the workplace as employee engagement declines for the second year.
- Around half of all workers are not engaged with their jobs and only put in minimal effort, according to a recent Gallup survey.
- General enthusiasm in the workplace has been declining in the U.S. for the last two years. A growing number of employees are resentful that their needs are not being met or that their pay is too low.
- Gallup analysts attribute some of the disengagement to unclear expectations from workplace managers.
- Employee frustrations have been increasing since 2021, according to Gallup data. Employee engagement reached a high in 2020 when more companies held town halls and requested employee feedback and interaction.
Why it’s news
Employee engagement has been steadily dropping while worker frustrations have grown. During the pandemic and other social unrest in 2020, more company leaders were focused on building strong workplace relationships. Remote work created a new workplace environment, and many companies wanted to emphasize strong office connections.
However, since remote work became the norm and businesses needed fewer town halls and company-wide meetings, communication from executives to employees has declined. Workers are starting to feel neglected.
At the same time, more businesses are focusing on bringing employees back to the office, at least part-time. Managers and employers are still concerned about workplace productivity and company loyalty, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Backing Up a Bit
While turnover may be a major concern for managers, Gallup’s research found that engaged employees tend to stay at their jobs longer than disengaged employees. If businesses want to retain employees, they must focus on upping employee engagement.
Over half of the survey respondents said now is a good time to find a job. A Conference Board survey found that the happiest employees voluntarily changed jobs during the pandemic. Workers who have a hybrid or fully remote option are also among the happiest employees, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Remote work is still a strong point of contention between employers and their employees. Employees at insurer Farmers Group recently planned to either quit or form a union after the new CEO announced that most workers would be required to work in the office at least three days a week. Amazon employees recently protested hybrid work policies, The Wall Street Journal reports.
A push toward in-person work may be one of the reasons employee engagement is falling. Many workers view the insistence on in-person work as a sign that their managers do not trust them to do their jobs. Others highly value the flexibility remote work provides.
Many employers pushing for a return to work are driven by a desire to increase employee loyalty and retention. Without in-office work, many managers struggle to build the same level of connection with their employees that they may have achieved in the past. Without that connection, employers worry that their workers may not have a strong sense of company loyalty, The Wall Street Journal reports.