what drives employee engagement?

  • employer branding
  • October 08, 2015

It’s no secret that employee engagement directly impacts a company’s success. Simply put, when engagement levels are high, businesses tend to perform better.

To assess the American workforce’s current state of on-the-job engagement, Randstad polled over 2,000 employed adults and over 500 employers. We asked each group for input on how employees feel about their work, why employees leave their jobs, how they perceive current compensation and if they think they should get a raise. We even asked if they’d give up a $5,000 raise to be happier at work. 

In general, employees view their work in positive terms, but our study shows that employers are considerably more optimistic about employee engagement across many of the metrics we measured. 

employees and employers: we rate engagement differently

Employees generally have a positive view in terms of their engagement at work, with a majority saying they like going to work, are inspired to do their best, and feel recognized and valued. When asked if they enjoy going to work every day, over half (67%) of employees agree. Employers, however, are much more enthusiastic on the subject, with 81 percent assuming their employees happily embark on the daily work routine. 

career advancement

An overwhelming majority of employers (92%) feel they help employees grow their careers. But when we asked employees if their bosses assist with their career development, far fewer (59%) agree. Additionally, employees say a promotion is the most likely thing to boost their happiness at work, followed closely by more workplace flexibility.


employee empowerment

While both employees and employers think companies would perform better if they listened to employees’ ideas, there’s a gap in the perception of whose ideas matter. Almost every manager interviewed (96%) say they value employees’ opinions, but fewer employees (75%) feel their feedback matters to their bosses. 

take a break

On the topic of vacation, nearly half (45%) of employees say their bosses don’t help them disconnect when they’re out of office, and just as many (46%) say they worry about work when they take time off. Check out our Workplace Hero infographic to see how managers can truly help employees take a break.

employee engagement insights

These and a number of other notable differences between employees and employers should keep the topic of engagement alive and well for companies wanting to impact their employee attraction and retention strategies. 

Source: Randstad US 2015 Engagement Study