Employee engagement reflects the involvement and enthusiasm of employees in their work and workplace. Gallup categorizes an organization’s employees as engaged, not engaged or actively disengaged. Employees can become engaged when their basic needs are met and when they have a chance to contribute, a sense of belonging, and opportunities to learn and grow.
Engaged employees are highly involved in and enthusiastic about their work and workplace. They are psychological “owners,” drive performance and innovation, and move the organization forward.Not engaged employees are psychologically unattached to their work and company. Because their engagement needs are not being fully met, they’re putting time -- but not energy or passion -- into their work.
Actively disengaged employees aren’t just unhappy at work -- they are resentful that their needs aren’t being met and are acting out their unhappiness. Every day, these workers potentially undermine what their engaged coworkers accomplish.
To determine the percentage of engaged, not engaged and actively disengaged employees, Gallup uses a proprietary formula founded on extensive research about how the engagement elements, as measured by the Gallup Q12, relate to various workplace outcomes. For this reason, employee engagement is a much higher bar than merely satisfaction or metrics that combine “strongly agree” and “agree” responses into a “percent favorable” engagement index.
The current standard is to ask each employee (a census survey; median participation rate is 84%) to rate the Q12 statements using six response options, from 5 = strongly agree to 1 = strongly disagree, and the sixth response option -- don’t know/does not apply -- is unscored. Gallup’s proprietary formula does not require perfect agreement with all Q12 elements for employees to be classified as engaged.
Global employee engagement data are collected using the Gallup World Poll, which has conducted surveys of the world’s adult population, using randomly selected samples, since 2005. The survey is administered annually in person or by telephone, covering more than 160 countries and areas since its inception. Gallup’s global engagement data reflect the responses of adults, aged 15 and older, who are employed for any number of hours by an employer.
U.S. employee engagement data are collected using the Gallup Panel, which is based on a random sample of adults, aged 18 and older, working full time or part time for organizations in the United States, who are members of the Gallup Panel. Gallup uses probability-based, random sampling methods to recruit its Panel members.