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Korn Ferry Hay Group Reveals Industries with Highest and Lowest Employee Engagement Levels

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Research Uncovers Surprising Findings About American Employees’ Attitudes Toward Tenure

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 29, 2016 — Just in time for Labor Day, which pays tribute to the achievements of American workers, a new analysis by the Hay Group division of Korn Ferry (NYSE:KFY) underscores which industries have the most engaged and least engaged employees.

The analysis is based on engagement surveys from 139 companies and 1.3 million U.S. employees across 15 industries. It reveals that overall, 71 percent of the U.S. workforce is engaged.

When considering specific industries, consumer goods, insurance, and financial services industries rank highest, with an average of 74 percent of respondents engaged. The communications field and consumer services (e.g. retail, hospitality, leisure) also ranked high on the list at 72 percent each.

The high-technology industry is at the bottom of the engagement index, with only 64 percent of employees engaged. Also ranking low on the engagement scale are life sciences at 66 percent and public sector/not-for-profit at 67 percent.

“Full-time U.S. employees work nearly 50 hours a week – equivalent to almost six working days,” said Mark Royal, senior principal, Korn Ferry Hay Group. “When you consider that nearly a third of employees are not engaged, that’s a lot of time wasted for both those employees and their employers who are not getting the full impact of their potential.”

Additional Korn Ferry Hay Group research demonstrates that an engaged workforce has a significant impact on the bottom line, boosting revenue growth up to two and a half times, depending on the level of engagement.

“Many factors go into creating a culture of engagement, including empowering and developing employees to make a meaningful impact on the success of the organization,” said Royal. “When this happens, employees will stay on the job and be productive, and their employers will reap the benefits.”

American Workers Want “A Long Term Relationship”

The Korn Ferry Hay Group composite engagement scores are based on responses to several questions, including: “Given your choice, how long would you plan to continue working for the company?” Perhaps surprisingly, the largest percentage (64 percent) of employees across industries said “more than 5 years.” By contrast, just 18 percent of employees said they plan on staying 2 years or less.

Consumer goods and industrial goods are the two industries with the highest percentage of employees who responded that they would stay on the job more than 5 years at 74 percent each. Consumer services and communications are the two industries with the lowest percentages, with 51 percent and 54 percent respectively.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor, the average U.S. employee stays on the job an average of 4.6 years.

“Leaders who are successful in keeping their best people will need to foster a positive view of future company prospects and opportunities for individual growth and development, focus on structuring work environments to support employees’ success in their roles and leverage employee input to promote high levels of effectiveness, and reinforce the balance between what employees contribute and what they get back from the organization in return,” said Royal.

About Korn Ferry

Korn Ferry is the preeminent global people and organizational advisory firm. We help leaders, organizations, and societies succeed by releasing the full power and potential of people. Our nearly 7,000 colleagues deliver services through our Executive Search, Hay Group and Futurestep divisions.

 

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