Employee motivation is critical to the success of any organization. Inspired employees bring forward new ideas and innovate. Unmotivated employees often do the bare minimum and don’t think critically about their roles. From an ownership perspective, employee motivation actually improve the performance of staff and improve profitability.

Believe it or not, only 15% of employees are engaged in the workplace, according to Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace. This means that the vast majority of workers around the world either despise their jobs or perform the bare minimum to get by each day with little to no emotional attachment to their work. Some employees even report not even understand how their job role even benefits the company.

So what constitutes a good rate of engagement among employees? Many HR experts believe 80% is a satisfactory benchmark. Employee engagement rate will where the organization is located, the culture, compensation, and type of work being completed.

Want to better understand the data behind employee motivation? I conducted a deep dive of some of the most interesting finding from news reports and scientific journals to identify the key trends and statistics on this subject.

Are you motivated at work?

Global Employee Motivation Statistics

More than four out of ten employees(42%) think about incentives and recognition programs when it comes to looking for a job.

Employees feel underappreciated at work in 39% of the time when asked. Another 77% of employees say they would work harder if they were recognized. The big takeaway here? Be sure to acknowledge the work of A and B players on your team. 

According to a Gallup poll, only 15% of employees are engaged at work, indicating a global motivating crisis. 

75 percent of employees who voluntarily leave their jobs do so because they dislike their supervisors. The takeaway? Make sure there’s a no jerk policy among management. 

When the right reward was presented, companies implementing incentive programs reported a 79 percent success rate in achieving set targets. (Achievers)

According to motivation data, low employee motivation incentives are costly, costing a business an average of $4,129 to acquire fresh talent and $986 to settle in the new job. (SHRM) 

70 percent of the variance in team engagement may be attributed to the manager or team leader alone. (Gallup)

Employees that are motivated are 87 percent less likely to leave a company, according to a poll of over 50,000 workers. (Inc Magazine)

Despite increased efforts from employers, about 85% of employees throughout the world are still not engaged or actively disengaged at work. This is a staggering data point for employers. (Gallup)

Motivational companies enjoy a 27 percent increase in profitability on a regular basis. This is accompanied by a 50% rise in sales, a 38 percent increase in productivity, and a 50% increase in customer loyalty. 

The engagement of current employees has an impact on the quality of future job candidates; 71% of employees use or have used recommendations from current employees to learn about employment openings. (Gallup)

According to the study, businesses with the finest corporate cultures, which embrace holistic leadership efforts and place a high priority on their employees, customers, and owners, saw a 682 percent gain in revenue. Companies without a thriving business culture raised their revenue by 166 percent during the same 11-year period. (Forbes)

Unmotivated employees cost the US economy around $450 billion each year. (Gallup)

When employees are inspired, they work 20% harder. A carrot works better than the whip to get things done. (Gallup)

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51 percent of salespeople and 52 percent of workers were previously enrolled in a company-sponsored program. (SHRM)

According to statistics on workplace motivation, highly engaged teams have 41% lower absenteeism and a 17% increase in output. (Gallup)

Furthermore, according to motivation statistics, 44% of employees say they are stressed out ‘occasionally.’ (Gallup Firm)

Employees feel under-appreciated in 39 percent of cases, and 77 percent would agree to work harder if they were given more credit. (Globo Force)

According to a Harvard Business Review research, putting in place a business incentive program prompted 66 percent of employees to stay on the job. This includes providing the appropriate incentives to drive staff, frequently acknowledging and thanking them, publicly honoring them, and diversifying award categories. (Harvard Business Review)

According to studies, boredom and the need for new challenges are the primary reasons for changing employment for 33% of individuals who do so. The second most popular reason, cited by 24% of respondents, is that the workplace culture does not align with the employees or their values. The desire for a better income came in fourth place, with only 19 percent citing it as the primary reason for quitting. (Kornferry)

Employees who believe they have been heard are 4.6 times more likely to perform at their peak. (Forbes)

Employee Engagement Statistics

Just the past year (2020), global engagement scores hit 68%, a 2% increase from the previous year and the highest in the past 10 years. (Statista)

85 percent of employees were disengaged at work back in 2017, a trend that has been going on for years. In 2019, the rate fell by 10%, implying that only 35% of workers were engaged. (HR Cloud)

Only 15% of employees worldwide and 35% in the United States are considered “engaged.” (Gallup)

Companies with a high level of employee engagement have a 21 percent higher profit margin. They are also 17 percent more productive than businesses with disengaged staff. (HR Cloud)

When internal communications are effective, 85 percent of employees are most motivated. (Trade Press Services)

For every $10,000 in wages, a single disengaged employee can cost a company around $3,400 in lost productivity. (HR Cloud)

Only 16% of businesses use technology to track employee engagement. (Gartner)

Because of the negative workplace culture, 47% of active job seekers desire to leave their current position.

A study on employee engagement found that companies in the U.S. lose between $450-$550 billion each year due to disengaged workers.

According to Trade Press Services, effective internal communications motivate 85% of employees to become more engaged in the workplace. When managers share company news and other relevant information regularly, employees feel motivated to achieve the mission, vision, and goals.

According to a recent Gartner poll, only 16% of companies leverage technology to track employee progress and engagement. They use tools to monitor employee activity and see when they clock in and out, how many hours employees worked, when and how many breaks they take, and more.

A recent employee engagement and modern workplace report showed that 84% of highly engaged employees received recognition the last time they went the extra mile at work. Not surprisingly, only 25% of actively disengaged employees were recognized for a job well done.

After daily virtual meetings, 38% of remote employees claimed they were weary, and 30% said they were stressed. (HR Cloud)

Only 12% of workers are happy in their current position.

Personal appreciation motivates 37% of employees. (Cincinnati.com)

Only 29% of employees are “very satisfied” with their professional progression options. (SHRM)

Employers who are highly engaged see a reduction in turnover of 25 to 59 percent and a reduction in absenteeism of 41 percent.

When it comes to job satisfaction, engagement, motivation, and staff retention, 41% rated those opportunities as “extremely important.” (SHRM)

Employee engagement is 2.5 times more likely in organizations with highly rated recognition cultures. 

The last time a highly engaged employee went the extra mile at work, 84 percent of them earned praise. Only 25% of actively disengaged employees were recognized for a job well done, which is unsurprising.

An always-on feedback tool is vital to an engagement listening program, according to 64% of HR leaders, yet only 20% have one in place. 

According to a poll, 44% of employees are “very satisfied” with the possibilities to apply their talents and competencies at work. (SHRM)

Employee engagement surveys should be done more regularly, according to 58 percent of employees. 

According to research, 71% of respondents would accept a pay cut in exchange for their dream job. (Hays)

Employees that are disengaged make 60 percent more mistakes according to reports. 

Motivated employees = Happier employees.

Gallup Poll Employee Engagement Trends

Employee engagement in the United States improved to 39 percent in January, up from 36 percent late last year, following a rollercoaster 2020. (Gallup)

As work and life were first disturbed by COVID-19 in early March, Americans’ overall well-being plummeted. Employee engagement, however, has remained stable, rising to 37 percent in March from 35 percent in 2019.

Employee engagement has risen to 38% by mid-May. Following the riots and cultural upheavals surrounding the George Floyd murder, engagement plummeted to 31% in June, a new low for the month.

According to the latest Gallup report, 51% of employees are disengaged in the workplace, while 13% are actively disengaged. Actively disengaged means feeling miserable at work and spreading negativity to their colleagues.

Another Gallup’s report on employee engagement shows that companies with a highly engaged workforce have 21% higher profitability. They also have 17% higher productivity than companies with a disengaged workforce.

Workers in the United States became more involved in late June and early July, reaching a new high of 40%.

Rates fell back to the early COVID-19 level from mid-July through mid-September at 36% engagement.

From 2019 to 2020, the percentage of “actively disengaged” workers, or those who are unhappy at work and transmit their dissatisfaction to their coworkers, grew slightly, from 13 percent to 14 percent.

In 2020, the ratio of actively engaged to actively disengaged workers was 2.6-to-1, down from 2.7-to-1 in 2019.

The majority of employees (45%) believe they receive feedback from their boss daily or weekly.

Only 28% strongly feel they received significant feedback in the previous week, compared to 19% in 2019.

Employees who worked remotely at least part of the time had the highest levels of engagement prior to the COVID-19 epidemic. This trend continued in 2020, with engagement rising two percentage points to 43% in the second half of 2018.

Last year, 38 percent of those who worked from home full-time or nearly full-time were employed, compared to 32 percent of those who worked on-site full-time or substantially full-time.

In January 2021, 56% of workers continued to work remotely at least part of the time.

Among these workers, 44 percent favor remote employment, while 39 percent prefer to return to the office if restrictions are relaxed.

In 2019, 18 percent of people who worked entirely from home reported burnout