Original Article By GALLUP
With the disruptions of 2020, organizational leaders often ask how they should interpret current employee engagement results or compare them with past measurements given the markedly different circumstances. Are the survey results even useful?
We recommended organizations continue surveying employees during this volatile period — there is no better time to know what your employees are thinking than during a disruption.
Recent research shows that employee engagement is an even stronger predictor of performance during tough periods such as economic recessions like we’re in today.
In 2020, Gallup tracked 190 organizational employee engagement surveys from April through July across more than 300,000 employees in 18 industries. Each organization’s survey results in 2020 were compared with similar organizations’ employee engagement as measured before the pandemic in 2019. Gallup found the median survey response rate during COVID-19 was 86%, as compared to a median response rate of 85% pre-COVID-19.
Overall levels of engagement and average growth in engagement were not compromised for organizations implementing employee engagement measures and interventions during COVID-19. Taken together with the broader national employee engagement trends, fluctuations in employee engagement should be considered a short-term phenomenon. Even still, acting on employee engagement insights can bring clarity to uncertain times, making this more important than ever.
Previous Gallup research has shown that employee engagement is a consistent predictor of many important organizational outcomes across more than two decades, even during massive changes in the economy and technological advances.
Gallup has recently conducted its 10th global meta-analysis of the relationship between employee engagement and performance across 112,312 business and work units in 276 organizations across 54 industries with employees in 96 countries.
When comparing top-quartile with bottom-quartile engagement business units and teams, Gallup found median percentage differences of:
Findings from the study indicate that, across companies, business/work units scoring in the top half on employee engagement more than double their odds of success compared with those in the bottom half.
Those at the 99th percentile have nearly five times the success rate of those at the 1st percentile.
Previous Gallup research has shown that employee engagement is very changeable inside organizations when leaders focus on the right practices.