Human Capital & Careers

Are Your Workers Engaged?

Only 52 percent of employees know what to do and want to do it, according to a recent study.
CFO StaffJanuary 19, 2007

Labor statistics indicate that U.S. workers are more productive than ever. What they aren’t is inspired.

According to Sibson Consulting’s 2006 Rewards of Work Study, only 52 percent of employees are fully “engaged,” defined as knowing what to do and wanting to do it. One-third of them are actually disengaged.

Such a disconnect, says Christian M. Ellis, a senior vice president in Sibson’s Los Angeles office, results from “a lack of investment in important people processes.” In the last few years, he explains, many companies have focused on technology and cost containment at the expense of human-capital initiatives.

“But value creation is a function of productivity,” he says, “and productivity doesn’t come from cost management.”

Looking for Inspiration?

Engaged employees report higher productivity.
(% productive most of the time)

Engaged: 57% Employees know what to do and want to do it.

Renegades: 11% Know what to do but do not want to do it.

Disengaged: 27% Don’t know what to do and even if they did, wouldn’t do it.

Enthusiasts: 5% Want to do their work, but do not know what to do.

Source: Sibson Consulting