Employee engagement and satisfaction

Modern research shows that 7 out of 10 employees are likely to be disengaged in any large American organization, and 2 out of 10 could drive the organization to go bankrupt or “sink the boat” to the bottom of the ocean (Kelleher, Konselman, and Benowitz, 2013). Furthermore, about 70 percent of managers make their teams and departments worse because of ineffective management practices that cause employees to be non-engaged (Mujtaba, 2014). Some companies and entrepreneurs tend to hire or promote the wrong candidates into management positions about 82 percent of the time. These ineffective managers cost firms wasted time, money, and it can lead to dissatisfied and disengaged employees.
Satisfied employees become engaged
Satisfaction is about making employees successful so they are commitment to the job instead of simply being compliant. Productive and satisfied employees are likely to be highly engaged in their workplace’s current affairs and future direction. Employee engagement can maximize value over time by reducing change resistance and increasing commitment. Employee engagement can increase satisfaction and productivity in the workplace, thereby creating a competitive advantage for the company. Mujtaba (2014) as well as Kelleher et al., (2013) emphasize that engagement is about going above and beyond the call of duty, providing the discretionary effort. Engagement is about:

  • Capturing the employees head and heart.
  • Making the employee and the company successful.
  • Mutual commitment between employees and their company.
  • Unlocking employee’s potential to drive high performance.

Engaged employee are productive
The goal of employee engagement is to provide an environment where all employees can be “first class” associates or partners of management in serving their internal and external customers in a timely and quality manner. Highly engaged employees are 250 percent more likely to make recommendations for improving the company (Kelleher et al., 2013). These engaged, “first-class” employees are likely to eliminate any group desires for natural soldiering, systematic soldiering, or thoughts of unionization as they would be much more open to discuss their challenges with the leadership and administration. Furthermore, Kelleher et al., (2013) conclude that:

  • Highly engaged employees are 480 percent more committed to helping the company succeed.
  • Highly engaged employees are 380 percent more likely to recommend the company to others.
  • Employees with lower engagement are 4 times more likely to leave their jobs.
  • Disengaged leaders and managers are 3 times more likely to have disengaged employees.
  • Bad leadership and management equals disengagement, which costs American companies about $450 billion each year.
  • Around 7 out of 10 workers in the U.S. are disengaged (52 percent) or actively disengaged (18 percent). This means that about 2 out of 10 employees who are “actively disengaged” might be constantly trying to damage the firm as they want the company to go bankrupt.

So, engaged employers should know who are their paddlers (30 percent), passengers (52 percent) and those who are sinking (18 percent) or driving company into bankruptcy. Overall, these engaged employees focus on purpose and values of the firm thereby creating a productive work atmosphere. The best way to have engaging employees is to increase the level of trust in management by caring about them, managers role modeling what they preach and demonstrating competent leadership. Engaged employees can be 6 times more productive than those working for non-engaged competitors.


  • Kelleher, B., Konselman, J. and Benowitz, A. (August 20, 2013). Employee Engagement – Who’s Sinking Your Boat? YouTube link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y4nwoZ02AJM
  • Mujtaba, B. G. (2014). Managerial Skills and Practices for Global Leadership. ILEAD Academy: Florida.

Dr. Bahaudin G. Mujtaba, is professor of management for Nova Southeastern University at the College of Business and Entrepreneurship. He has served as a corporate management development and diversity trainer. He is the author of “Managerial Skills and Practices for Global Leadership” and “Coaching and Performance Management: Developing and Inspiring Leaders” book, published by ILEAD Academy, LLC. Reach him at (954) 262-5045 or [email protected].