Surprising Results from 2017 Gallup Employee Engagement Report

Surprising Results from the 2017 Gallup Employee Engagement Report

Last updated on March 21, 2024 at 06:25 am

In 2017, Gallup released their State of the American Workplace report. This report focused on trends in employee engagement and the impacts this has on businesses. Gallup found only 33% of employees are engaged in the US. While the world’s top companies for engagement more than double this with 70% engaged employees. In this blog, we share that not much has changed regarding employee engagement scores—and that’s still true today.

But first, here’s some helpful context on Gallup’s report and how they measure employee engagement.

What are the Gallup Q12 Questions?

Gallup has defined 12 facets of employee engagement that they measure with their annual employee engagement survey. Those elements are called the Gallup Q12 and include:

  1. I know what is expected of me at work.
  2. I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right.
  3. At work, I have the opportunity to do what I do best.
  4. In the last seven days, I have received recognition or praise for doing good work.
  5. My supervisor, or somewhat at work, seems to care about me as a person.
  6. There is someone at work who encourages my development.
  7. At work, my opinions seem to count.
  8. The mission or purpose of my company makes me feel my job is important.
  9. My associates or fellow employees are committed to doing quality work.
  10. I have a best friend at work.
  11. In the last six months, someone at work has talked to me about my progress.
  12. This last year, I have had opportunities at work to learn and grow.

Gallup asks these questions to learn more about the employee experience and whether or not employees feel supported and cared for as these are key components that indicate whether or not an employee is engaged at work. 

What is Gallup’s Model of Employee Engagement?

Gallup’s 12 elements help make up their model by measuring what they consider the key drivers of employee engagement: 

  • Purpose
  • Development
  • A caring manager
  • Ongoing conversations/development
  • Strengths

And this forms Gallup’s employee engagement model. Gallup’s hierarchy of engagement focuses on the four types of development needs of an employee: basic, individual, teamwork, and growth. This helps organizations create an action plan to not only improve engagement but also foster continuous growth and improvement among their staff. 

Gallup State of the American Workplace 2017 Findings 

Gallup’s 2017 State of the American Workplace report paints a somewhat bleak picture of the workplace. It’s even more disheartening that in 2023, not much has changed.

It’s a sad fact but the majority of employees are not engaged and haven’t been for a long time. In 2016, only 33% of employees in the United States were engaged. And employee engagement as a whole increased by only 3% from 2012-2016. These findings underscore the impact that employee engagement has when it comes to the overall success of US companies.

In fact, in the first iteration of the Gallup Employee Engagement Report, they found that disengaged employees cost between $450 – $550 billion each year.

How To Change Employee Engagement

As communications and HR professionals, we understand the impact that effective company comms can have on employee engagement. However, while most companies pay lip service to its importance, few have implemented strategies to address these challenges head-on.

At theEMPLOYEEapp, we have worked with companies who are taking steps to save money and improve morale by using technology to better engage with their workforces. Many are starting to realize and pioneer the use of mobile technology as a way to communicate and engage a disparate workforce.


Gallup’s research compared companies from the highest and lowest quartiles of engagement levels. A key difference that Gallup found between segments was the effective use of communications strategies implemented by the top companies. The study showed that the companies with high engagement see:

  • 17% higher productivity
  • 20% higher sales
  • 21% higher profitability

For a company with operations around the world or in more than one location in the U.S., communicating with employees can be viewed as a daunting task. However, this doesn’t have to be the case.

With the use of mobile tech, it has never been easier to communicate simultaneously and instantaneously while increasing employee engagement. Hopefully, 2017 will be the year that more companies recognize the opportunity that exists to connect, communicate with, and engage with their employees. And the results of future Gallup reports will become something more than just a repeat of years past.


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