Lack of "Engagement" Costs Employers Billions

March 19, 2001 ( - "Actively disengaged" workers are costing American employers roughly $300 billion a year, according to a new study.

The study, conducted by Gallup, found that workers that considered themselves disconnected from their jobs cost the US economy between $292 billion and $355 billion/year.

That estimate was based on a recent Gallup “Q12” employee engagement survey, which found that nearly 1 in 5 US workers (19%, or 24.7 million) was actively disengaged.

Unengaged Actions

Compared with their coworkers, the research found that actively disengaged workers tend to be:

  • significantly less productive
  • report being less loyal to their companies
  • less satisfied with their personal lives
  • more stressed and insecure about their work than their colleagues.

The national survey found that actively disengaged workers miss an average of 3.5 more days per year than other workers do – a total of 86.5 million days in all.

The 12 questions posed in the Q12 survey are:

  • Do I know what is expected of me at work?
  • Do I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right?
  • At work, do I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day?
  • In the last seven days, have I received recognition or praise for doing good work?
  • Does my supervisor, or someone at work, seem to care about me as a person?
  • Is there someone at work who encourages my development?
  • At work, do my opinions seem to count?
  • Does the mission or purpose of my company make me feel my job is important?
  • Are my co-workers committed to doing quality work?
  • Do I have a best friend at work?
  • In the last six months, has someone at work talked to me about my progress?
  • This last year, have I had opportunities at work to learn and grow?