Here’s How We Can Get Over the Employee Engagement Slump

Employee engagement has dropped from 36% engaged employees in 2020 to 34% in 2021. Reversing this will be crucial for the future of work.

Employee engagement is tied to satisfaction, connection, motivation, and loyalty at work. There’s no doubt that engaged employees are more valuable, whereas disengaged employees can harm your organization. And while engagement numbers have been dropping, disengagement numbers have been on the rise. Up one percentage point from last year, 17% of employees are actively disengaged.

3 Things To Consider

1. How 2022 is going so far

Not great. So far this year, Gallup surveys have revealed that only 32% of employees are engaged. That’s 4% less than 2020, and 2% less than 2021. What decreased the most was employees’ agreement that they have:

  • Clear expectations
  • The right materials and equipment
  • The opportunity to do what they do best daily
  • A connection to the mission or purpose of their organization

In addition, Gallup saw an eight-point decline in employees who are “extremely satisfied” working for their organization.

2. Hybrid and remote jobs

Fully remote and hybrid employees tend to be more engaged. Both are 37% engaged compared to fully on-site workers which are 29% engaged; however, the decline in employee engagement has been evident across all three groups since prior to the pandemic. (Before COVID-19, it was actually worse for exclusively remote workers.)  

3. The role of wellbeing

Wellbeing also recently saw a sharp drop. A lower percentage of employees “strongly agree” their employer cares for their overall wellbeing. Employee engagement is essential for enhancing wellbeing and resilience. It contains elements of involvement, communication, development, and collaboration. Each of these sets the stage for creating trust and openness around addressing holistic wellbeing.

What You Can Do

1. Lean into your culture and values

Ensure employees see your organizational culture and values lived out daily. A way to do this is by letting your values guide business decisions. Show employees examples of lived-out values to build more trust in leadership.

2. Embrace flexible work

Flexibility comes in many shapes and sizes. It varies by role, location, team, and individual. Embrace a unique form of flexible work for each employee. If the pandemic taught us anything, it’s that organizations need to understand that anything can change in the future. A willingness to adjust and respond is vital!

3. Focus on employee wellbeing

Work and life are intertwined. Our personal lives, and the good and the bad parts that come along with it, don’t simply go away when we clock in or log on for work. Acknowledge and celebrate your employees’ big personal moments. Provide resources so your employees can take care of their physical, mental, and financial wellbeing.

4. Tailor your communications

Communicate transparently with your employees through various channels. Examples include a company app, podcasts, town halls, and YouTube. Utilizing various forms help you reach and resonate with people in various work-life situations. Rely on local managers to keep people in the loop and to talk about organizational changes.

5. Amplify with a recognition partner

Partner with a recognition company (like us!) This will help you amplify the four action steps above. You will instill values, embrace flexibility, announce wellbeing efforts, and create additional communication channels. Find a combination of celebrating milestones and social technology that best engages employees at your organization!


Employee engagement is not a nice-to-have, rather it is a must-have. Improve your approaches with the above strategies and both you and your employees will benefit tenfold.