July 2020
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After Hitting an All-Time High, Engagement Numbers Take Biggest Recorded Hit

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Back in May, Gallup reported employee engagement in the United States had risen to an all-time high of 38 percent only to suffer the most significant drop in the history of recording the metric since 2000, falling seven points to 31 percent. Additionally, the percentage of workers who are actively disengaged rose to 14 percent, up from 13 percent in May. The largest decline in engagement numbers was among managers and others in leadership positions; additionally, this was larger for men than women and mostly affected those working on-site as opposed to those working from home. According to Gallup, the drop is “highly uncharacteristic, given the steadiness of past trends with only gradual improvements over time. Even the past recessions of 2001–2002 or 2008–2009, the attack on 9/11 and subsequent aftermath, and prior pandemics have not significantly dented employee engagement in the US.” Gallup offers three possible reasons for the decline: the society unrest following the killing of George Floyd, transparency has faltered as plans to reopen take shape, and previously laid-off individuals are returning to the workforce.

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