Global Survey: Employee Connection Drops, Engagement Lags

Posted in HR Trends

In Enboarder’s second annual employee connection survey, only 42% of employees feel very connected to their co-workers and nearly 1 in 3 employees say they don’t participate in engagement programs because they’re inauthentic.

AUSTIN, Texas – Sept. 6, 2023 — Enboarder®, the world’s first and only Human Connection Platform creating better human connections across the entire employee journey, today released new research on the state of employee connection and engagement at work.

Enboarder surveyed 900 employees in the U.S., U.K., and Australia in May 2023 to understand employees’ perception of their companies’ engagement programs and how these programs drive retention, productivity, and even company revenue. The report reveals a 14 percentage point decrease in the number of U.S. workers who feel very connected to their co-workers (42% in 2023, down from 56% in 2022).

Human connection remains a key differentiator in a tight labor market. Respondents were asked the top reasons why their company’s engagement programs are beneficial to them, and “It helps me form stronger relationships with my co-workers” rose to the top for 52% of workers.

The desire for connection and belonging was also revealed in the list of most beneficial engagement opportunities according to employees. Participants were asked to select their top three programs. The top programs included:

  • Peer learning (37%)
  • Career development and skill building (35%)
  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) programming (28%)
  • Mentorship programs (28%)

The survey also revealed the top reasons why engagement programs fail. Forty-three percent of employees who don’t participate said it’s because “They aren’t offered at convenient times.” Another 27% said “they feel inauthentic,” and 21% said “They are irrelevant to my role at the company.”

Companies that strike the right balance between authenticity, flexibility, and connection in their engagement programs stand to gain significant return on investment:

  • Employer brand: Employees who are satisfied with engagement programs are 2x as likely to agree their workplace is a great place to work and recommend it to others.
  • Productivity: Employees who are satisfied with engagement programs are more than 2x as likely to agree their workplace encourages innovation and motivates them to go above and beyond their job responsibilities.
  • Retention: Forty-four percent of employees who are satisfied with their engagement programs say they plan to stay at their company for more than five years.
  • Revenue: Eighty percent of employees who are satisfied with their engagement programs say their organization has grown its revenue over the past year.

“Many companies lack connection and don’t have a clear strategy for how to build it in their workforce,” said Brent Pearson, founder and CEO at Enboarder. “This report outlines not only the desire for more authentic relationships and connection at work, but also the business imperative for human connection. The demographics of the working population are shifting and so are employee expectations. A culture of connection and belonging is the key to driving retention, engagement, productivity, and ultimately, a sustainability business strategy.”

Other key findings from the new report include:

  • Employee retention remains a key challenge. Seventy-one percent of all respondents agree with the statement: “It’s been challenging for my company to retain employees over the past year.”
  • Disconnection could be your biggest risk. Disconnected employees are 4x as likely to quit in the next 6 months.
  • Australian workers have the lowest levels of connection. Overall, employees in Australia told us they felt significantly less strongly connected to colleagues than in other regions. Only 37% said they felt very strong connections – 3 points lower than in the U.K. and 12 points lower than in the U.S.
  • U.K. workers have low satisfaction with engagement programs. When it comes to satisfaction with their employee engagement opportunities, U.K. workers conveyed that their organizations have a way to go. While few said they were very dissatisfied, only 29% answered that they were very satisfied with the engagement opportunities available – a marked contrast to the 44% who expressed high satisfaction in the U.S.
  • U.S. workers are offered different engagement programs. in the U.S., workers were more likely to say they have programs dedicated to DEI than in other regions (34% vs. a net average of 28%), along with mentorship programs (34% vs. a net average of 28%) and employee resource groups (ERGs 11% vs. a total average of 8%).

To access the full report, please visit:

About Enboarder
Enboarder creates better human connections in your organization, inviting engagement and building alignment along every step of the employee experience. Our Human Connection Platform cuts through the noise of daily communications and elevates the things that matter most with interactive, actionable nudges. Leading global brands like McDonalds, Hugo Boss, ING, and Eventbrite use Enboarder to drive behavior, spark joy, and nurture a culture of connection and belonging. To learn more, visit​​ Media contact:
Andrea Dumont

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