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Segal/Sibson, February 2007

According to a survey by Segal/Sibson, worker productivity increases and employee turnover decreases when employees are engaged at work. The independent firm of benefit, compensation and human resources consultants reports surveyed 1,200 workers and looked at the link between employee engagement (defined as “knowing what to do at work and wanting to do the work”) and employee turnover and productivity.

Dividing workers into four categories in terms of their level of engagement, Sibson found that:

  • Over half – 52 percent – of respondents know what to do and want to do it, down from 63 percent in 2003;
  • 11 percent know what to do, but do not want to do it, only 2 percent higher than 2003 figures;
  • 33 percent do not know what to do and even if they did, they would not do it, up from 23 percent in 2003; and
  • 5 percent want to do their work, but do not know what to do, an increase of only 1 percent.

Although the survey didn’t find any striking differences in engagement among respondents of different demographics, such as age, gender, race and education level, it did find a strong correlation between low engagement at work and employee turnover, while engaged workers say they are less likely to leave. A high number of employees who are engaged say they are satisfied at work (84 percent). Meanwhile, only 5 percent of engaged employees report a low-level of satisfaction.

Nearly 80 percent of engaged employees say they are productive more than three-quarters of the time, with productivity declining as the level of engagement falls. The survey also found that employees who work primarily on the computer, rather than with people, are less engaged with their work.