This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2015, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Utahns are some of the least-engaged employees in the country.
According to a new Gallup study, just 28 percent of Utah workers are engaged in their work. That puts Utah in the bottom 10 states in the nation.
Interviews with employed adults across the country conducted over landlines and cellphones between January 2013 and December 2014 measured whether they were enthusiastic about their work and whether they felt passionate about their jobs.
Disengaged employees are essentially "checked out," the report says. And they care less about customers, productivity and profitability.
Of Utahns who were considered disengaged, 17 percent were actively disengaged meaning they aren't just unhappy at work; they also undermine the accomplishments of engaged workers. According to Gallup, these employees "have bosses from hell that make them miserable" and they "roam the halls spreading discontent."
That leaves a little more than 54 percent of Utah workers who are present but not inspired by work or their managers.
So what does it mean if many Utahns are browsing Facebook and BuzzFeed for most of the day?
Gallup says businesses with engaged workers have 22 percent higher profitability than those with disengaged workers. Engagement at work affects everything from customer satisfaction to overall physical health of employees.
And for states, less engagement seems to accompany higher unemployment rates. That connection is puzzling for Utah, which touts one of the nation's lowest unemployment rates.
Montana had the highest engagement at 39 percent. There was a four-way tie between Connecticut, New York, Michigan and Kentucky for the highest percentage of disengagement.
Margins of error for individual states ranged from plus or minus 1 percentage point to plus or minus 6 percentage points.
Gallup suggested that staffers in small companies, with fewer than 10 employees, have higher rates of engagement because workers feel a sense of ownership of their jobs. And the seven states with the highest engagement are more likely to have more of those small firms. The size of businesses in the state, then, could help explain the difference.