Gallup Survey: 70% of American Workers are Not Engaged or Actively Disengaged

Coercion by inspection and audits doesn't change thinkingA shocker? Not really. 70% of American workers are not engaged or are actively disengaged. Dreadful and depressing.  Unfortunately, Gallup has decided that worker assessments are the answer – it is not.  Not to say there isn’t interesting information to be learned about individual interests, just not very impactful to the business.

The real reason that workers are disengaged is because their work design is awful.  As a worker, you get told daily about what you should do and organizations have the processes, rules, scripts, performance appraisals, etc. to back it up.  Even the support areas get more respect than workers and even dictate their edicts to workers – after all, they are the smart ones . . . just ask them.

The survey also mentioned that “actively disengaged workers” are costing the US economy between $450 and $550 billion dollars a year.  No small sum and you will be adding to this sum if you turn to coaching the individual as the answer.

Design work that workers enjoy and embrace and the rest will take care of itself.  The individual is rarely the problem and represents only 5%, 95% of the problem is in your organizational design.  Design good work and engagement will be a problem of the past.

Take a look at your organization as your customers see it –  our 4-day workshop has been called “an awakening experience.”  You will understand the customer view of your organization and take inventory of the assumptions, beliefs and perspectives that drive performance.  Tripp Babbitt is a service design architect and organizational futurist.  His company helps service organizations understand future trends, culture and customer.  The 95 Method designs organizations to improve the comprehensive customer experience while improving culture and management effectiveness.  Read his column at Quality Digest and his articles for CallCenterIQ. Reach him on Twitter at or LinkedIn at

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