U.S. Employee Engagement Reverts Back to Pre-COVID-19 Levels By Jim Harter

Updated: Nov 3, 2020

Gallup is closely tracking the engagement and wellbeing of the workforce during this unprecedented time of disruption. We are providing the latest updates for organizational leaders so they can understand the impact on the workplace and what their people need most during this time of rapid change.

After a roller-coaster summer of unprecedented volatility, U.S. employee engagement appears to have settled down.

Employee engagement has been a steady metric without sharp ups and downs since Gallup began tracking it in 2000 -- with the exception of 2020.

This year, engagement levels have fluctuated more than ever before.

But after a wild summer, affected by various combined stressors including the ongoing pandemic and related restrictions, mounting political tension as the election nears, and societal unrest surrounding racial tensions, engagement has reverted back to pre-COVID-19 levels.

The fluctuations were remarkable, though. In early May, employee engagement advanced to a new high of 38% in the U.S. And then, following the killing of George Floyd in late May and subsequent protests and riots, the percentage of engaged employees dropped to 31% as measured from June 1-14.

Shortly following that drop, engagement reached another new high -- 40% in late June to mid-July.

Now, from our most recent measurement spanning July 13 through Sept. 27, the percentage of engaged employees -- those who are highly involved in, enthusiastic about and committed to their work and workplace -- has dropped back to just slightly above the pre-COVID-19 rate of 35%, to 36%.

The percentage of workers who are "actively disengaged" -- those who have miserable work experiences and spread their unhappiness to their colleagues -- in this latest survey remains the same, at 13%. The ratio of engaged to actively disengaged workers from mid-July to the end of September is now 2.8-to-1, down slightly from a 3.1-to-1 ratio in early July. These latest findings are based on a random sample of 5,033 full- and part-time U.S. employees working for an employer from July 13-Sept. 27, 2020. READ MORE


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