Actively disengaged employees are not just unhappy at work, these employees undermine the accomplishments of their engaged coworkers. They monopolize managers' time, account for more quality defects and quit at a higher rate than engaged employees. No state in the nation has more actively disengaged workers than Connecticut, according to a new two-year survey by the Gallup organization, for the period January 1, 2013 through December 31, 2014.
There is a four-way tie between Connecticut, New York, Michigan and Kentucky for the highest percentage of actively disengaged workers – 21 percent in each state, according to the Gallup survey. Residents of South Dakota, Wyoming, Alaska and Vermont reported the lowest percentages of actively disengaged workers, each with less than 15 percent. The national average for 2013-2014 was 18 percent active disengagement.
On the other side of the ledger, workers in Montana (39%), followed closely by those in Mississippi (37%) and Louisiana (36%), had the highest levels of employee engagement in 2013 and 2014. With 22 percent of workers engaged, the District of Columbia had the lowest employee engagement, followed by New York, Minnesota and Connecticut. Nationally, 31 percent of workers were engaged during this time period.
Gallup identifies workers as engaged, not engaged or actively disengaged based on their responses to items that assess key workplace elements found to predict important business outcomes.
- Engaged employees are involved in and enthusiastic about their work and workplace. Day after day, they are passionate about their jobs and feel a profound connection to their company. They are more productive, drive innovation and promote organizational growth.
- Not engaged employees are essentially "checked out." They demonstrate less concern about customers, productivity and profitability. They do not own or feel passionately about their work.
- Actively disengaged employees are not just unhappy at work; these employees undermine the accomplishments of their engaged coworkers. They monopolize managers' time, account for more quality defects and quit at a higher rate than engaged employees.
In its analysis, Gallup points out that “Active disengagement tends to be more highly related to labor market trends such as unemployment, underemployment and letting people go.” Previous Gallup research has indicated that employees in very small companies (fewer than 10 employees) have higher rates of engagement and lower rates of active disengagement – which Gallup suggests may be related to the psychological ownership and autonomy that is often present in small companies.
Rates of unemployment and underemployment are also associated with variation in engagement, Gallup’s analysis points out. Recent employment statistics and overall U.S. workforce trends suggest that active disengagement has declined in line with decreases in unemployment and underemployment. Connecticut’s economic recovery has lagged, although the number of jobs created has steadily climbed.