For Employees, Unclear Expectations Deepen Disengagement, Survey Finds

March 2024
Share this article

In 2023, employees in the U.S. felt increasingly detached from their employers, unclear about what their bosses expect, less satisfied and less connected to their organization’s purpose compared to four years ago, new Gallup research finds. In 2023, 50% of employees were not engaged in their work, a phenomenon dubbed “quiet quitting.”

In recent surveys, U.S. employees were also less likely to feel that someone in their workplace cares about them as a person, a sentiment particularly pronounced among fully on-site employees whose jobs can be performed remotely.

At midyear, 34% of U.S. full- and part-time employees were engaged in their work and workplace, the survey found. Since Gallup began reporting employee engagement in 2000, the peak was 40% in 2020, after a decade of growth. Each percentage point in engagement, gained or lost, represents approximately 1.6 million full- or part-time employees in the United States.

According to Gallup, employee engagement affects performance outcomes in organizations. Employees who are not engaged or are actively disengaged cause approximately $1.9 trillion in lost productivity every year.

With 29% of employees who can work fully remotely now doing so and 52% following a hybrid schedule that alternates work at home and work in the office, the percentage of actively disengaged workers declined slightly, from 18% in 2022 to 16% in 2023.

When it comes to getting work done and meeting customer needs, organizational leaders are disadvantaged when they don’t clarify their expectations for employees, the researchers wrote. The issue of unclear expectations doubled among hybrid and fully remote workers, compared to on-site workers whose jobs could be done remotely.

In Gallup’s survey, 70% of managers said they have received no formal training in how to lead a hybrid team.

Return to Current Issue Employee Engagement | March 2024
Share this article

Subscribe to Strategies & Tactics


*Strategies & Tactics is included with a PRSA membership