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Dueling Studies: Either Way, Engagement Remains Flat

According to analysis recently released by Aon Hewitt, employee engagement continues to be sluggish and remains at its lowest level since 2008. At the same time, data from HR Solutions International reveals that the number of engaged employees rose from 27% in 2010 to 29% in 2011. What accounts for these seemingly opposing stats? Actually they’re not that different; both show little movement in terms of overall engagement levels.
Aon Hewitt analyzed its Employee Engagement Database of more than 5,700 employers representing five million employees worldwide, finding an engagement level of 56% through the third quarter of last year, which is the same as 2010, but lower than 2009 (60%) and 2008 (57%). Further analysis reveals that Managing Performance (“the way we manage performance here keeps me focused on achieving this organization’s goals”) dropped nearly 8 percentage points globally, and engagement scores related to Managing Performance are also are relatively low.
In researching its 2011 Overall Employee Engagement norms, HR Solutions analyzed employee survey responses from more than 3.3 million employees at over 2,400 organizations, finding that the number of “actively engaged” employees increased two percentage points, from 27% in 2010 to 29% in 2011. During the same time period, the percent of “ambivalent” employees (neither engaged nor disengaged) slightly decreased, from 60% to 59%, while the percent of “actively disengaged” employees declined from 13% to 12%.
For more on these studies, go to and

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