Employee Engagement Hits New Low as Employees Feel Stuck

October 10, 2011 (PLANSPONSOR.com) – A study by Modern Survey shows 21% of U.S. workers report they are seeking new employment opportunities. 
Conducted in September 2011, the most recent iteration of Modern Survey’s bi-annual study found that 70% of employees are now either disengaged or under engaged at their job—a record high number since Modern Survey began tracking these numbers in 2007. Additionally, the number of fully engaged employees has dropped to a record low of just 8%. Compared to one year ago when 15% of the workforce was fully engaged, the most recent data demonstrates a profound deterioration in the number of workers who are fully committed to their work and to their organization.

While 70% of workers are disengaged or under engaged, only one fifth of workers reported they are currently looking for a new job at a different organization—a percentage which is remarkably consistent across nearly all captured demographics, including job level, pay basis (salaried vs. hourly) and company size.

The engagement components that have seen the furthest erosion in the past year include “discretionary effort,” down 10 percentage points from 58% favorable in August 2010 to 48% favorable in September 2011, and “belief in the future of the organization,” which has tumbled most severely from 48% favorable in 2010 to 34% in the most recent study.

Coinciding with the drop in employees’ belief in the future of their organization, the survey items, “I have confidence in the future of my company/organization” and “My company/organization is headed in the right direction,” proved to be the most highly associated with individual respondents’ engagement levels. This finding re-affirms similar results from February 2011, which demonstrated faith in the overall health and direction of the organization has leapt up to become the new top predictor of employee engagement, replacing predictors like recognition/appreciation, personal accomplishment, and career development.

For additional survey details, visit http://www.modernsurvey.com/news.