Input Stories

Input Stories

Employee Engagement Dropped During the Pandemic

Workers became notably less engaged at work during the pandemic, according to a new poll by Gallup.

  • Employee engagement dropped from 36% in 2020 to 32% in 2022, while active disengagement increased from 14% in 2020 to 18% in 2022.
  • The drop in engagement from 2020 to 2021 (from 36% to 34%) was the first in a decade.

A closer look: “The engagement elements that declined the most from the pre-pandemic record-high engagement in 2019 to 2022 were: clarity of expectations, connection to the mission or purpose of the company, opportunities to learn and grow, opportunities to do what employees do best and feeling cared about at work.”

  • Additionally, Gallup found a 6% decline in employees who are extremely satisfied with their organization as a place to work.

The demographics: Gallup also reports that younger workers’ and women’s engagement saw greater declines. 

  • “Engagement for those under age 35 (young millennials and Gen Zers) decreased by four points and active disengagement … increased by four points” compared to a corresponding drop in engagement among older workers of two points and an increase of disengagement by one point.
  • Meanwhile, “Engagement among women declined by four points and active disengagement increased by three points” while engagement among men declined only by one point and disengagement by one point.

What companies can do: Gallup looked at companies that averaged 70% employee engagement and found that these organizations “us[ed] their organizational culture and values to guide business decisions … keeping performance, collaboration, employee well-being … at the center of how work gets done.”

What we’re doing: The Manufacturing Institute, the NAM’s 501(c)3 workforce development and education affiliate, in partnership with Colonial Life, is conducting a research study on the role that employee engagement and culture development play in attracting and retaining employees.

  • If you are a manufacturing leader, please share your thoughts by completing this survey by March 31.
  • As a part of this study, the MI is also conducting interviews. Please contact NAM Chief Economist and Director of the MI’s Center for Manufacturing Research Chad Moutray at [email protected] if you are interested in participating.
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