Young workers grow more disengaged: 5 notes

Millennial and Gen Z workers saw the largest declines in employee engagement in 2023, suggesting younger workers are growing increasingly detached from their organizations, new Gallup data shows. 

The report is based on survey data from random samples of the working population collected between March 2020 and November 2023. Sample sizes for the generational analyses ranged from 1,280 to 24,431 for each year. 

Five report findings: 

1. Overall, 33% of U.S. employees reported being engaged with their work last year. This figure plateaued in late 2023 after a minor increase during the first half of the year and still lags behind pre-pandemic levels.  

2. Baby boomers reported a slight uptick in engagement, while Gen X, millennial and Gen Z workers all reported decreased engagement.

3. These declines were most dramatic among older millennials (born between 1980 and 1988). Engagement fell from a high of 39% in early 2020 to 32% in late 2023 for this group. 

4. Engagement among younger millennials and Gen Z employees (born 1989 or later) also fell from 40% to 35% over this time period. 

5. Millennial and Gen Z employees reported the largest declines in the following six engagement elements: 

  • Feeling cared about by someone at work
  • Having growth opportunities
  • Feeling connected to the organization's mission
  • Having progress discussions with managers
  • Being given opportunities to develop
  • Feeling that their opinions count

"The generational trends in engagement have important implications for leaders and managers who want to attract, engage and retain younger workers in a post-pandemic world," Gallup said. "To do so, they need to create a culture that builds trust, connection and growth."

View the full report here.

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