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.
The Gallup Q12 items are Gallup proprietary information and are protected by law. You may not administer a survey with the Q12 items or reproduce them without written consent from Gallup. Copyright © 1993-1998 Gallup, Inc. All rights reserved.
Learn more about the Gallup Q12 items.
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.
Results for the Gallup poll of U.S. employees are based on self-administered web surveys of a random sample of adults who are aged 18 and older, working full time or part time for organizations in the United States, and members of the Gallup Panel. Gallup uses probability-based, random sampling methods to recruit its Panel members. Gallup weighted the obtained samples to correct for nonresponse. Nonresponse adjustments were made by adjusting the sample to match the national demographics of gender, age, race, Hispanic ethnicity, education and region. Demographic weighting targets were based on the most recent Current Population Survey figures for the aged 18 and older U.S. population. In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.
In line charts on this webpage, Gallup labels some data points with a year and month. Years that have only one data point labeled with the year and "Jan" (abbreviated for "January") reflect annual survey results. Years that have one data point labeled with a specific month besides January or that have multiple data points labeled with specific months reflect results obtained during the noted month(s). When Gallup’s survey field dates for one data point occur in more than one month, Gallup labels the data point with the ending month.