Home>Leadership Development, Organizational Development, Team Performance>Engagement Levels Reached a Record High in 2019 and Here is Why

Jayne Jenkins
CEO and Executive Coach
February 19, 2020


Engagement Levels Reached a Record High in 2019 and Here is Why

The Employee Engagement Increase

In 2019, employee engagement in the U.S reached 35% (up 26% from the previous year). 35% is a new high since Gallup began tracking the metric in 2000, and you will benefit from understanding the reasons why. Gallup attributes this positive change to how organizations develop employees. They noticed that high-development organizations have common themes we can learn from.

What Affects Employee Engagement

Higher engagement is determined by multiple factors and your managers can influence about 70% of engagement levels. High engagement is associated with:

  • I have clarity about what is expected of me in my role.
  • I have the opportunity to do what you do best – aka “play to my strengths.”
  • I feel heard and understood.
  • I get effective recognition for good work.
  • Someone at work cares about me.
  • My development is encouraged and supported.

Employee Engagement Benefits To You and Your Organization

Because engaged employees are willing to put in the extra discretionary effort your organization and customers need, the benefits to you and your organization include:

  • Greater productivity and better outcomes;
  • Employees treat customers better and attract new ones;
  • Employees more likely to remain with their organization than those who are less engaged;
  • Teams with higher engagement are less likely to leave your organization;
  • Engaged employees are also healthier and less likely to experience burnout.

Effective Strategies For Using Your Strengths To Be More Productive


The Learnings For You

Gallup noticed that high-development organizations have common themes we can learn from. Each of the following three themes our global Churchill Leadership Group team can confirm work, based on the real-world work we do in partnerships with clients such as eBay, PayPal, and AMEX.

High-development organizations are those where:

1. Executives Take the Lead In Creating the Development Culture – Not just HR!

  • The organization has a well-defined purpose and brand, a clear “why” as Simon Sinek says. Everyone understands that engagement includes the importance of uniting purpose and brand. Leader’s engagement to their business. This means engagement is relevant each day and not just as survey time.
  • Top executives initiate the effort. They know their influence, both words and actions, are key to creating positive change. They are involved in the desired engagement change and connect it to the desired business outcomes. It cannot be left to HR!

2. Manager Development helps them shift from “telling and directing” to “coaching”

Invest in your managers and help them be able to and want to coach. Coaching managers are able to:

  • Encourage and inspire employees and teams to solve problems themselves;
  • Coach to harness the natural talent (aka strengths);
  • Understand what drives engagement and have the skills to do it consistently well every day.

3. Companywide communication and accountability is strong

  • They have designated “champion-networks” that regularly communicate, collect best practices and supports (e.g. Peer manager networks Churchill supports at eBay).
  • Create clarity of what highly engaged employees and teams look like – sharing clear success. They use employee recognition to develop and stretch employees and call out outstanding team leaders to clarify expectations.
  • They do not tolerate mediocrity.

Gallup also found that “the best organizations believe that not everyone should be a manager, and they create high-value career paths for individual contributor roles,” so employees feel they have other options.

“Our Churchill team has found that many managers end up in that role because they believed it was the only option for career progression. Where in fact they do not enjoy the role of leading and developing people and were not very motivated to improve in the manager role and feel stuck (aka the Peter Principal).It is important that organizations choose their managers wisely and give top talent other ways to develop if people management is not for them.” Says Jayne Jenkins CEO of Churchill

You can read Gallup’s article “4 Factors Driving Record-High Employee Engagement in U.S.,” to learn even more.

How does Churchill help an organization keep the employee engagement trend climbing and build a development culture? We have 2 established and proven effective programs:

To see if our employee engagement solutions and offerings are a fit for your organization, consider a strategic partnership with Churchill. Reach out to us today by calling 888-486-8884 or send us a message via our contact page.

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About Jayne
For decades, Jayne learned to develop and engage leaders and teams in the corporate world and then went on to train as an Executive and Strengths Coach. During her corporate leadership tenure, she observed how much untapped talent existed and she is passionate about unleashing that talent for individual and organizational performance and growth. Jayne and her global Churchill team of over 200+ coaches and consultants partner with clients to provide solutions that build capability through harnessing strengths. Her certifications include: Executive Coach (PCC) Gallup CliftonStrengths®, Certified Team Performance Coach (CTPC™), Marcus Buckingham Co. Stand Out, PROSCI® Change Management Consultant and Conversational Intelligence®. Global clients include eBay, PayPal, AMEX, Cardinal Health, BMS, Biogen, Coca-Cola, and many more.


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