11 Essential Employee Engagement Statistics for 2021

What is employee engagement?

To begin with, it’s quite a modern concept, resulting from the numerous industrial and tech revolutions that happened in the 20th century.

The thing is:

Staff engagement is essentially a set of psychological and behavioural variables related to employee motivation, attitudes, and interest in doing their work. Generally speaking, HR experts believe that more engagement equals better productivity and use employee engagement statistics to measure it.

Now:

Companies, HR experts, and managers know very well that a happy employee is a good employee. So, it’s a win-win situation, as employees who are content with their work and work environment are naturally willing and able to put in more work.

Without any further ado, let’s go over the most important stats and facts.

Fascinating Job Satisfaction Statistics(Editor’s Choice)

  • 25% of Canadians say they would do the same job for free.
  • 22.6% of the world’s working population is employed in industry.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic halved global working hours.
  • 45% of Americans are satisfied and engaged in their jobs.
  • 13% of American employees are severely disengaged and dissatisfied with their workplaces.
  • 77% of older workers believe they are doing something meaningful and good, compared to 63% of younger workers.

Global Employment Statistics

1. Around 22.6% of the global population works in industry.

(Source: WorldBank)

We see a nonlinear trend between 1991 and 2019. Global employment in industry hit a low of  20.3% in 2000 before proceeding to a 21st century high of 23% in 2012.  

The situation is different in the services sector. From 1991 to 2019, the percentage increased steadily from 34% to 50%. In contrast, agricultural employment decreased steadily between 1991 and 2019, from 43% to 26%

2. COVID-19 reduced worldwide working hours by 50%.

(Source: ILO)

In a non-pandemic scenario, the world average daily working hours would have been 8.8. After the COVID-19 pandemic started, this was reduced to only 4.8 hours per workday in 4.8 hours and 4.4 in Q2 2021

Let’s break this down:

Lower-middle-income countries would have averaged the longest workdays (11.3 days) under normal circumstances. However, COVID-19 brought down these numbers significantly to 4.1 (Q1 2021) and 4.5 (Q2 2021). In contrast, upper-middle-income countries didn’t work that much to begin with. The figure stood at 7.3 hours in the pre-COVID period, compared to 4.6 hours in Q1 2021 and 4.1 hours in Q2.

This reduction in the total number of working hours possibly facilitated an increase in job satisfaction, as some employee engagement statistics will later make evident. 

3. The economic impact of COVID amounts to the equivalent of 255 million lost jobs.

(Source: ILO)

In fact, around 114 million people actually lost their jobs during the pandemic. A further 30 million jobs that would otherwise have been created were also lost. And finally, 131 million jobs are “lost,” equivalent to the reduced amount of hours worked by those who did retain their jobs.


General Stats on Workplace Engagement

job satisfaction statistics

4. 45% of Americans are satisfied or extremely satisfied with their jobs.

(Source: CareerVision, ConferenceBoard)

According to employee engagement statistics from 2019, slightly less than half of surveyed Americans were satisfied with their workplaces. Interestingly enough, employee engagement statistics from 2020 show a significant increase, 56.9% in 2020. And this increase took place despite rising unemployment rates and a global pandemic. 

How can we explain this peculiar phenomenon? 

It’s possible that those who were able to keep their jobs are more content because at least they’re not unemployed. Perhaps the new working conditions (working from home) came as a sort of “refreshment” from the usual hassle and daily commute.  

5. 77% of older workers believe they’re doing something worthwhile, compared to 63% of younger adults (19 to 34).

(Source: WorkPlaceInsight)

Older workers are more engaged with their jobs. Additionally, employees aged 65+ are also happier with their managers, with 84% of them saying they have good relationships with their team leaders. On the other hand, the youngest workers (19 to 24) are somewhat less happy with their managers, with 73% reporting good relationships. 

What’s more:

Older workers feel more respected at their workplaces (81%) than younger workers (19 to 34) - 67%. Click To Tweet

What’s the explanation for high older people engagement

The thing is:

Older people tend to have a traditional employment strategy, where you choose a company and stay with it during your whole professional career. While this may seem tedious and non-dynamic to most young people, as you grow older, security becomes more and more critical. 

6. With a 42% job satisfaction rate, Japanese workers are among the least satisfied with their workplaces, employee engagement statistics reveal.

(Source: WorldEconomicForum)

We have to be very careful when interpreting these statistics. 

Here’s why:

According to the World Economic Forum, Mexicans are more satisfied with their jobs. To people who are unacquainted with the economic situation of Mexico, it may seem like Mexico offers better employment opportunities than Japan. 

It’s much more likely that those who do work in Mexico are happier because they know they don’t have many other options. They can also see, on a daily basis, how hard it is to actually get a job in Mexico. 

That being said, these statistics point to a prevalent trend in Japan – people are chronically overworked and under a lot of stress. 

7. Around 70% of Korean workers are burnt out.

(Source: KoreaJoongAngDaily)

We’ll see later why this stat is one of the reasons we have to take general people engagement stats with a pinch of salt. Much like Japanese workers, Koreans are too chronically overworked and dissatisfied. Needless to say, this is not always evident in official company stats, simply because the bosses don’t want to lose face.

Now:

Both Korea and Japan show an interesting trend of solid employee loyalty. So, when they find the right company, workers stick with it through thick and thin. It’s natural for employees to then not report most difficulties they face. 

8. 25% of Canadians love their job so much they would do it for free! 

(Source: GlobeAndMail, 150 Stat Can)

Canadians are some of the happiest workers in the world. According to employee engagement statistics from Canada for 2019, around 83% of Canadians were satisfied with their jobs, 90% felt interested and engaged in what they were doing, and 81% felt motivated in their workplaces. According to Aon, the world average employee satisfaction was at around 65%

What’s more:

The official government statistics show roughly the same picture. Namely, of 15,167 participants in an official survey, 12,730 felt satisfied with their workplaces. A further 1,411 felt neither satisfied nor dissatisfied, and only 872 were very dissatisfied.

employee engagement statistics

These statistics shouldn’t come as a surprise. Canada regularly tops the list of best places to live. And one of the essential components of Canada’s allure is the quality of workplaces and the ability of employers to satisfy employee needs. 

9. 13% of US employees feel severely disengaged at their workplaces,  employee engagement statistics confirm.

(Source: Gallup)

Gallup employee engagement statistics are the go-to place for US job satisfaction statistics, allowing us to track job engagement from 2000 up to today.

Here’s the scoop:

The most recent Gallup employee engagement survey shows that US employee engagement is getting back to pre-COVID levels. It has to be noted that Gallup stats are very extensive, including an astonishing 112,321 business units in the US. 

According to Gallup U.S. employee engagement statistics, around 40% of US employees feel engaged in their workplaces. This may seem very low compared to other countries. However, Gallup’s research is perhaps the most comprehensive and representative set of surveys out there. 


Job Satisfaction Statistics for the Developing World

10. Latin America (74%) and Asia-Pacific (71%) are the most work-engaged regions.

(Source: Statista)

Nominally, Africa’s employees (62%) are more satisfied than European employees (60%). It might come as a surprise, but European workers are the least satisfied globally. 

Why is that?

Differences in working culture are at least partly responsible for this. In addition, high unemployment rates in parts of the developing world mean that many people are happy to have a paying job in the first place. 

In contrast, European and North American workers have considerably higher expectations, leading to higher employee disengagement.

11. Only 21% of Indians are satisfied with their payment. 

(Source: MoneyControl)

At the same time, 75% of Indians are happy with the job they are doing. Admittedly, the rates vary across different industries. 

Check this out:

The legal sector and construction industry top the list, with more than 80% of employees happy with their workplaces. At the other end of the spectrum, the least satisfied Indian employees work in the education and research sector, with a 50% satisfaction rate.


In Conclusion

Hopefully, these stats highlight the importance of employee engagement. There are many benefits of employee engagement, which go above and beyond increased productivity and motivation. Among other things, employee engagement best practices can help bring about better work-life balance.

Improving employee engagement is also about having a happier and healthier workforce willing and able to take on the challenges and help their companies grow. That’s when things click into gear, and amazing results may follow.

FAQ

What percent of employees are engaged?

The world average is at around 65%. This figure is even higher in the Great White North, with 25% of Canadians willing to do the same job for free.

What is considered a good employee engagement score?

It depends on the type of metrics used. In general, employee engagement of over 50% can be considered quite good, and this is what some stats show for the US. Simply asking employees about their satisfaction and using a single metric is more likely to result in overestimations or underestimations. Certain metrics for Canada, for instance, suggest employee engagement of over 90%!

What is the result of employee engagement?

Employee engagement facilitates increased motivation, increased productivity, job satisfaction, improved workplace atmosphere and teamwork, good communication between employees, less stress, and much more. We should consider workplace engagement as one variable in a whole set of interconnected workplace-related variables.

What are five indicators of high engagement in a workplace?

There are many indicators of high engagement in a workplace – all the results mentioned above of employee engagement can be indicators of high engagement. Highly motivated workers who work under less stress in a good working environment are more likely to be highly engaged in the work they do.

According to global employee engagement statistics, salary, communication with managers, and good relationships with other employees also increase work engagement.

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