Top Employee Engagement Trends for 2018

Top Employee Engagement Trends for 2018
Facebook Twitter Email LinkedIn

Top Employee Engagement Trends for 2018
These Top Employee Engagement Trends for 2018 are based on the employee engagement surveys from nearly 50 Best Places to Work contests, this comprehensive report is the one and only of its kind, examining employee engagement and culture trends at America’s top workplaces.  This year’s study aggregates responses from more than 600,000 employees from 8,000+ organizations across America.

The Top Employee Engagement Trends for 2018
Similar to what we find when we assess organizational culture, the top trends highlight where investments should be made.

  1. Overall Employee Engagement is Up Slightly
    The number of highly engaged employees increased 0.50 percent from 2016 to 2017.   This makes sense given the level of focus and investment employee engagement has received over the last few years.
  2. Overall Employee Disengagement Has Not Improved
    Despite a slight growth in highly engaged employees, the number of disengaged employees remained steady at 2.7 percent between 2016 and 2017.   We define disengaged employees as those who score in the bottom percentile.  They are disconnected from the workplace, negative, disruptive and hinder productivity.
  3. The Employee Engagement Highs
    The items with the highest favorability were the same in 2017 as 2016. This indicates that these are strong indicators of being a Best Place to Work.

    — I believe this organization will be successful in the future
    — Everyone here is treated fairly regardless their differences
    — I am proud to work here
    — The people I work with most closely are committed to producing top quality work
    — My immediate manager cares about me as a person

  4.  The Employee Engagement Lows
    The five items with the lowest favorability are consistent with last year’s report, which indicates that most organizations, including the Best Places to Work winners, struggle in these areas.

    — When the organization makes changes, I understand why
    — I am paid fairly
    — I see professional growth and career development opportunities for myself in this organization
    — If I contribute to the organization’s success, I know I will be recognized
    — It would take a lot to get me to leave this organization (note: this item also was one of the only items to decline in favorability year-over-year)

  5. The Top Five Drivers of Employee Engagement
    While all items on the survey had a positive correlation with employee engagement, some had a greater correlation than others. Items with a correlation of 0.75 or higher were considered significant drivers of engagement.

    — My job allows me to utilize my strengths
    — I trust the senior leadership team to lead the company to future success
    — I believe this organization will be successful in the future
    — The leaders of the organization value people as their most important resource
    — If I contribute to the organization’s success, I know I will be recognized

  6. Employee Retention is Still a Struggle
    In a year of improved favorability, the survey item, “It would take a lot to get me to leave this organization,” was the lone detractor. Since 2014, this survey item has declined in favorability, with its most drastic decline between 2015 and 2016.

    Unfortunately, 2017 didn’t recoup 2016’s loss. Low favorability on this item has been found to be a top predictor of employee turnover.

  7. Managers Care About Employee Development But Cannot Deliver
    The gradual increase in the item, “My immediate manager cares about my development,” is a great indication that managers understand the importance of developing their teams.

    However, when coupled with whether employees have visibility to growth opportunities, we see an average 10 percent gap in favorability over the past eight years. That gap has gradually widened from 9 percent in 2013 to 12 percent in 2017. This represents the gap between managers’ intent and their ability to deliver.

    The survey item, “I see professional growth and career development opportunities for myself in this organization,” is consistently a top driver of engagement. Unfortunately, it’s also consistently been among the bottom in favorability. Empowering managers to close this gap could greatly impact engagement.

  8. Employee Recognition Is Improving, But Not Enough
    Despite the improvement in favorability on the item, “If I contribute to the organization’s success, I know I will be recognized,” it maintained its consistently low ranking and high uncertainty. While employers are improving employee recognition efforts, it might not be enough.

The Bottom Line
How you engage employees matters. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of your business.  Because each company has a unique strategy and workplace culture, we recommend you take a look at these top employee engagement trends for 2018 and determine how they impact your current talent management strategies.

To learn more about how to use these top employee engagement trends for 2018, download The 10 Most Powerful Ways to Boost Employee Engagement

Evaluate your Performance


Get key strategy, culture, and talent tools from industry experts that work


Health Checks

Assess how you stack up against leading organizations in areas matter most



Download published articles from experts to stay ahead of the competition



Review proven research-backed approaches to get aligned



Stay up to do date on the latest best practices that drive higher performance


Client Case Studies

Explore real world results for clients like you striving to create higher performance