2013 Research

Employee Engagement Benchmark Study 2013

January 2013

Using the Temkin Employee Engagement Index, we analyzed employee engagement across more than 2,400 U.S. employees. Employee engagement has increased over last year. Companies that outperform their peers in financial performance and customer experience have considerably more engaged workforces. Why does that matter? Because highly engaged employees try harder, recommend the company, help others, and take less sick time. It turns out that services industries have the most engaged employees while the retail sector has the fewest. We also found that highly engaged employees tend to be: front-line employees, high-income earners, male, African-American, and happy. Since engaged employees are such a valuable asset, we recommend that companies focus on this area using our Five I’s of Employee Engagement: Inform, Inspire, Instruct, Involve, and Incent.


Here are some of the findings from the study:

  • Fifty-seven percent of U.S. employees are moderately or highly engaged, an increase from 47% that we found last year.
  • Three-quarters of employees in companies with significantly above average financial performance are moderately or highly engaged, compared with less than half of firms with subpar financial results.
  • Nearly twice as many employees at companies with subpar customer experience are looking for a job compared with employees at companies with good customer experience.
  • Engaged employees are more than twice as likely to stay late at work if something needs to be done, help someone at work even if they’re not asked, and do something that is good for the company even if it’s not expected of them.
  • Engaged employees are almost three times as likely to make recommendations about an improvement and more than six times as likely to recommend that a friend or relative apply for a job.
  • Professional services and construction companies have the highest level of employee engagement, while travel and retail firms have the lowest.
  • Sixty percent of the workforce at companies with 100 or fewer employees are moderately or highly engaged, compared with only 46% at companies with 10,000 or more employees.
  • Seventy-five percent of senior executives are moderately or highly engaged, compared with only 46% of individual contributors.
  • The most engaged employees tend to be older, male, college educated, and African-American.
  • The most engaged employees tend to be financially secure, healthy, physically fit, and typically happy.


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