Global study finds 84% of workers aren't fully engaged

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As organizations strive to better understand the art of employee engagement in a highly competitive labor market, the ADP Research Institute's 19-country Global Study of Engagement provides a global benchmark for engagement. The study reveals that 84% of workers globally are just 'Coming to Work' instead of contributing all they could to their organizations as 'Fully Engaged' employees.

The study surveyed more than 19,000 employees (one thousand per country in a stratified random sample) around the globe to measure their level of engagement and identify the work conditions most likely to attract and retain talent. The research indicates that working on a team improves engagement. In fact, employees who identify as part of a team are 2.3 times more likely to be Fully Engaged. However, "teams" are often not the same as what is reflected on the organizational chart. Of those employees who work on a team, 64% report they work on more than one team, and 75% report their teams are not represented in their employer's organizational chart.

Team leader  critical to employee engagement

The research also shows that the team leader is critical to employee engagement. Employees who identify with being Fully Engaged also indicated they have a sense of belonging and trust in their leaders. Employees who completely trust their team leader are 12 times more likely to be Fully Engaged at work. 

"Due to current labor market conditions, employers are increasingly focused on elevating engagement, reducing turnover and attracting top talent," said Marcus Buckingham, head of people and performance research at the ADP Research Institute. "It has been widely reported that companies with high engagement perform better financially, are productive, have lower turnover and greater customer satisfaction. Our research found that working on a team – regardless of demographics, work status, gig worker or non-gig worker – is the common thread to ensuring a productive and engaged workforce."

As a leading source that business leaders, industry experts and policy makers turn to for the most timely, comprehensive and credible information on the workforce, the ADP Research Institute recently expanded its focus to include a dedicated team studying people and performance at work.

"For nearly a decade, the ADP Research Institute has served as a trusted source on workforce trends and labor market data," said Buckingham.  "With the addition of people and performance research, we can now conduct the reliable research the ADP Research Institute is known for across every aspect of the world at work."

Additional key findings of the Global Study

Gig workers are engaged, especially when part of a team

  • Twenty one percent of full-time gig workers are Fully Engaged within the workforce compared to 15% of full-time workers

Virtual workers are more engaged compared to their office peers

  • Nearly one third (29%) of virtual workers are Fully Engaged versus 18% who work in an office

The more educated and higher-level the worker, the more engagement occurs

  • Nearly one fifth (19%) of those with an advanced degree are Fully Engaged compared to 12% of those with no college education
  • Nearly one quarter (24%) of C-suite/VP-level workers are Fully Engaged compared to 14% of mid-level and first-level team leaders and 8% of individual contributors

Engagement by country: 
Argentina: 15%  Mexico: 13% 
Australia: 16%  Netherlands: 10% 
Brazil: 14%  Saudi Arabia: 16% 
Canada: 17%  Singapore: 20% 
China: 6%  South Africa: 16% 
Egypt: 15%  Spain: 16% 
France: 17%  United Arab Emirates: 26% 
Germany: 14%  United Kingdom 15% 
India: 22%  United Sates: 17% 
Italy: 16% 


Source: Cision