Worker Engagement Seen Plummeting

September 21, 2009 ( - A new survey found that general employee engagement has dropped 9% since last year and 25% for top performers.

A news release about the survey by Watson Wyatt and WorldatWork found 36% of top performers say their employer’s situation has worsened in the past 12 months, and the number who would recommend others take jobs at their company has dropped nearly 20%. According to the announcement, top-performing employees are 26% less likely to be satisfied with advancement opportunities at their company and 14% less likely to want to remain with their company.

Poll data also found top-performing employees are 29% less confident in management’s ability to grow the business. Some 41% believe that pay and benefit changes made by their employer in the past year have had a negative effect on work quality and customer service.

Meanwhile, 61% say their companies have reduced or suspended bonuses, while only 35% agree their employers reward top employees for performance. Additionally, 43% of top performers said individual performance expectations have increased since last year, while 32% say their company’s financial performance goals have increased.

Other findings from the survey include:

  • Regardless of whether companies downsized, 89% of employers report taking at least one or two actions to minimize the extent of workforce downsizing. On average, survey participants report taking 3.5 different actions.
  • Nearly three out of four (72%) employers have gone through a restructuring or made layoffs since the economic downturn began last year.

For more information, visit . The survey was conducted in May 2009 and is based on responses from 1,300 full-time workers at large U.S. employers.