Dale Carnegie Training Uncovers Major Drivers of Employee Engagement in US Workforce

80% of Employees Who Are Dissatisfied with Immediate Supervisor Are Disengaged

HAUPPAUGE, N.Y.--()--Dale Carnegie Training®, the international leader in performance improvement and corporate training, releases new findings on employee engagement. The study, commissioned in honor of Dale Carnegie Training’s 100th Anniversary, unearths the vital factors that contribute to workplace success in relation to engaged employees.

Past studies on engagement primarily focus on the positive ways engaged employees can impact a company's productivity and profits. The Dale Carnegie Training study is different because it is aimed at understanding and identifying the following three factors that drive employee engagement:

  • Relationship with Immediate Supervisors
  • Belief in Senior Leadership
  • Pride in Working for Their Company

The first and most dramatic finding shows that if an employee is dissatisfied with their immediate supervisor, there is an 80% chance that they are disengaged. This statistic reinforces the significance of building positive relationships in the workplace. Similarly, having a “caring” manager is one of the key elements to a positive and successful employee engagement strategy. Employees want to feel valued and have their manager take an interest in their personal lives, health and well-being.

The second driver that impacts employee engagement is a belief in senior leadership. Employees are inspired by having role models that encourage goal achievement, contributing to positive engagement and a better overall workplace environment. Finally, employee engagement is highest among those who take pride in working for their company. The study identified the following four characteristics needed for engagement: enthusiasm, empowerment, inspiration and confidence.

“The results of the employee engagement study are compelling because it confirms what our clients have been telling us for the past 100 years,” remarks Peter Handal, CEO of Dale Carnegie Training. “The study confirms that the four emotions found are those we stress, allowing people to feel valued and hence feel engaged with their company.”

Key Survey Results

While less than a third of employees are engaged some groups of employees are more engaged than others.

  • Engagement levels appear to increase during the first 5 years of employment
  • Executives (VP and Higher) and medical workers are the most highly engaged group of employees
  • Employees in education, social work, and sales are the least engaged
  • Employees ages 50-60 are the least likely to be engaged
  • 26% of part-time works are engaged vs. 31% of full time workers
  • 45% of managers and supervisors are engaged, only 23% of all other level workers are engaged

Disengaged employees are 2 1/2 times more likely to leave for ANY level of pay increase compared to those employees that are engaged.

26% of Engaged Employees would leave their current job for just a 5% pay increase.
46% of Partially Engaged Employees would leave their current job for just a 5% pay increase.
69% of Disengaged Employees would leave their current job for just a 5% pay increase.

Employee engagement rates are directly tied to feelings about interaction with their immediate supervisor.

49% of employees who were satisfied with their direct manager where engaged.
80% of employees who were very dissatisfied with their immediate supervisor were disengaged.
28% of employees felt a negative emotion from their inaction with their supervisor, only 10% of these employees were engaged. 
53% of fully engaged employees say they learned a lot from their supervisor compared to 19% of people who are not fully engaged. 
62% of engaged employees say their manager sets a good example compared to 25% of people who are not fully engaged. 
40% of employees that feel empowered by their supervisor are engaged.

Personal lives are no longer off limits. Managers that are viewed as caring about employees personal lives are more engaged.

66% of employees believe their manager does not care about their personal life. 
54% of employees are engaged when they believe their manager cares about their personal life.
17% of employees are engaged when they believe their manager does not care about their personal life.

Senior leadership's actions also have a direct impact on employee engagement.

61% of employees who have confidence in the leadership abilities and think that senior leaders are moving the organization in the right direction are fully engaged.
61% of employees who say they are satisfied with the amount of input they have in decisions affecting their work are engaged.
60% of employees who feel they have an impact on the direction of the company are engaged.
Employee Engagement levels are twice as high among employees who say they are proud of contributions their organization has made to the community.

This survey of employees was conducted between February 2012 and April 2012 by MSW Research on behalf of Dale Carnegie Training. Participants included 1,500 employees ages 18 to 61+.

About Dale Carnegie Training®

Dale Carnegie Training® partners with middle market and large corporations as well as organizations to produce measurable business results by improving the performance of employees with emphasis on leadership skills, sales, team building and interpersonal relations, customer service, public speaking and presentations and other essential management skills. The courses are available in 30 languages throughout the world; they cover the entire United States and reach over 85 countries. Dale Carnegie Training® includes as its clients 400 of the Fortune 500 companies. Approximately eight million people have experienced Dale Carnegie Training®. Dale Carnegie Training® was recently included in the prominent list of 20 companies as one of the Top Leadership Training Companies by TrainingIndustry.com.

Dale Carnegie’s corporate training specialists work with individuals, groups and organizations to design solutions that unleash your employees’ potential, enabling your organization to reach the next level of performance. Dale Carnegie Training® offers public courses, seminars and workshops, as well as in-house customized training, corporate assessments, online learning and one-on-one coaching.


LaForce + Stevens
Maggie Porges, 212-242-9353


LaForce + Stevens
Maggie Porges, 212-242-9353