The Rise and Fall of Employee Engagement in the U.S. Today
A group of business people raising their hands in the air.

Employee engagement is a critical ingredient for productivity and retention, and recent events have amplified the importance of it. Organizations are trying to preserve the employee experience during this unprecedented time, but engagement has taken a hit, especially in the United States, because of the pandemic and other contributing factors.


Employers — particularly human resource teams — work hard to create a positive work experience, so they take it hard when employees report negative feedback. Negativity can spread to co-workers and impact team productivity and success. Employees have reported highs and lows in a unique and fascinating way.

According to Gallup, engagement was at a new high of 38% in early May in the U.S despite the ongoing pandemic. However, the number quickly dropped to 31% by early June as riots and a wave of unrest around diversity and inclusion issues arose. The declines in employee engagement have all been short-lived, with engagement picking back up within a few weeks to a month. In fact, reports show that at the end of June employee engagement rose to pre-pandemic levels.

These large swings over the last few weeks can provide us insights into how to approach employees moving forward. Clearly, employees are reflecting on how their personal brand is reflected in conjunction with the corporate brand. For example, many employees have expressed frustration with how their employers have responded to the global pandemic. Others are critical of how their employer has responded to issues around diversity and inclusion. Clearly, company executives and workplace leaders need to be conscious of how they communicate with their employees during times of unrest, making it the right time to re-evaluate policies and practices.

What Now?

Over 37% of employees are reporting that they are engaged, which is an all-time high. Employees are paying more attention to their employers than ever before, and employees are going to remember how their employer responded well beyond the pandemic. Employees want to be connected to an organization that values integrity and leaders who apprise strong values. Companies need to know more about how their employees are feeling, especially in the US, during a time of chaos and confusion. How? By asking them how they are feeling. Social support in the workplace can often be met by listening. Employers who listen see improved engagement and improved employee engagement results in more satisfied and committed workers.

HSD Metrics offers new hire, stay, and exit interview platforms that can help your business improve employee engagement, as well as employee experience and retention. If you are interested in learning more, contact us today.