As part of their State of the Workplace report, Gallup collected tracking data from January 2015 to October 2016 and created estimates of employee engagement. They found that 19% of Nevada workers are “actively disengaged” from their jobs – meaning they are resentful that their employment needs aren’t being met and are acting out – undermining the accomplishments of coworkers and the business. Only West Virginia had a higher disengagement rate, at 21%.
There does not seem to be a strong regional trend here: Nevada is the only western state in the bottom 5 for disengagement, while neighboring Arizona comes sixth nationally for the level of engagement. The rest of the West is middling. On average, 33% of Americans are engaged in their work, with 51% unengaged and 16% actively disengaged.
When Gallup examined the patterns of engagement across the 50 states, highly engaged states tend to have greater proportions of workers who are:
- Self-employed on a full-time basis
- High school graduates, but not college graduates
- Employed in blue-collar roles in industries such as transportation, installation and repair, and farming and fishing
Additionally, states with higher percentages of actively disengaged employees have higher unemployment rates than do those with lower percentages of employees who are actively disengaged. Employees in states with higher percentages of actively disengaged workers may find it more difficult to locate the type of work they want. Similarly, organizations in these states may not be able to increase their hiring and, as such, do not believe they have an incentive to create a differentiated workplace that can compete effectively for new talent.
States with the highest percentages of engaged employees also have slightly higher proportions of full-time, self-employed workers, compared with states with 30% or fewer engaged workers.
Gallup finds smaller organizations tend to have a higher percentage of engaged employees. Hmmm – large employers, above-average unemployment…ringing any bells?
In addition to company size, employment status and economic conditions can all play a part in how employees feel about their jobs and organizations, as can occupation, tenure and education level. However, Gallup finds that managers account for at least 70% of the variance in employee engagement scores across business units.
Organizations must ensure they are hiring and promoting the right people into management roles and giving these individuals the training, support and direction they need to succeed. Leaders have to address managers’ engagement needs in the same way they expect managers to address the engagement needs of their employees.