Indian workforce show higher level of engagement vis-à-vis global & APAC


Around 46 per cent of Indian employees demonstrated high level of engagement with their organisations, the survey conveyed. In comparison, at the APAC level, around 35 per cent of employees were found to be fully engaged, whereas globally, it was 34 per cent. 

Employee engagement is crucial to the health of any organisation. Employees with higher level of engagement, the fully engaged lot, is actively involved in work, usually feels a personal connection to the organisation and is willing to go the extra mile to ensure customer satisfaction. The disengaged employee on the other hand will demonstrate negativity at work and undermine the accomplishments of his/her colleagues and eventually create a toxic atmosphere in the workplace. And those in between – the partially engaged employees will do the minimum to get by, concentrate on the job at hand and add little extra value.

The India Inc. seems to be lucky to have had a higher number of engaged employees. Only 10 per cent of Indian employees, according to a survey by Dale Carnegie and NHRD are disengaged while at APAC level, the figure is 15 per cent and at the global level, the share of disengaged workforce is 20 per cent.

Around 46 per cent of Indian employees demonstrated high level of engagement with their organisations, the survey conveyed. In comparison, at the APAC level, around 35 per cent of employees were found to be fully engaged, whereas globally, it was 34 per cent.

Even in case of dissatisfaction with their jobs, lesser number of Indian employees showcased any such sign vis-à-vis their global and Asia Pacific counterparts. Overall, only 9 per cent of Indian employees were genuinely dissatisfied with their jobs, which was a lower percentage than the APAC (12%) and global (14%). However what could be a matter of concern was the higher number of employees at the border level – which means they were neither satisfied nor dissatisfied. At APAC Level, the share of such employees was 70 per cent while in Indian, it was 52 per cent. It is alarming because employees could shift either way, and anticipating the worse, companies should take care that this segment does not fall into the disengaged category.

The employee’s relationship with the immediate senior or supervisor and his/her confidence on the senior management are two important aspects that determine the longevity of the employee’s tenure and also drive a performance culture. On both these parameters, Indian organisations seem to have an edge over the global and APAC peers.

Around 34 per cent of Indian employees were very satisfied with their immediate senior, while another 45 per cent were somewhat satisfied. This leaves only 13 per cent among the dissatisfied lot. At APAC level 19 per cent of employees showed dissatisfaction and at global level, it was 17 per cent.

Similarly, 31 per cent of Indian employees demonstrated a strong belief on the senior management and another 51 per cent were neutral or somewhat satisfied. Globally, the share of dissatisfied employees on this context was 21 per cent and 17 per cent at APAC level.

When declassified as per sectors, industries such as manufacturing, mining, utilities and agriculture showed higher share of fully engaged employees whereas among employees in local government jobs, the share of fully engaged employees was zero. On top of it, under a third of the employees in this sector were found to be actively disengaged. However, those working with the national government, the share of fully engaged employees were 44 per cent and another 33 per cent were neutral or partially engaged.

The lowest share of disengaged employees was from the healthcare sector and this was uniform across India, APAC and global level.

However, in terms of size of the company, larger companies in India – companies with more than 100,000 employees – recorded lowest amount of disengaged employees (just 5 %) with 59 per cent of their employees identifying themselves as actively engaged. In smaller companies — 501 and 1000 employees – had a significant 14 per cent of highly disengaged employees with only 38 per cent stating they were highly engaged.

The study revealed that engagement levels steadily increased as tenure went up – with a solid 76 per cent of those working for 20-25 years at the same company being highly engaged where as new employees with six months to a year at their current organisations were still ambivalent about their attitude towards their new jobs, with a majority (57%) falling into the partially engaged category.

Though, there was no clear change in engagement with the increase of salary levels, around 15 per cent of those earning between Rs 1.5-3 lakh per annum demonstrated disengagement, while a very strong 71 per cent of those earning more than Rs one crore annually were highly engaged at work.

One probable reason, why India scored higher on employee engagement and satisfaction is that the average educational level of the India sample was much higher than the global and APAC samples. In fact 76 per cent of the Indian survey respondents had attained a post-graduate degree and were earning above INR 5 lakhs annually with 69 per cent working at a managerial level or higher. At these levels of education and responsibility, commitment to company and organisational success tends to be higher. In comparison, only 13 per cent of APAC sample had post graduate degree.

The study further revealed that found that employees in India tend to have a very positive self-view with a good 61 per cent of them stating they were willing to put in extra hours without more pay to complete a task. Around 58 per cent were very confident that they knew exactly what was expected of them on the job and another 58 per cent felt that the work they did contributed directly to organisational success.

However, their main issues turned out to be the lack of a supportive team, closed communication structures and inadequate training provided to do a quality job. Around 66 per cent of respondents were ambivalent or strongly disagreed that there was a spirit of teamwork and co-operation in their organisation while a mere 35 per cent of them said that they received the training they required.

This indicates both that Indian employees have high expectations as well as that corporates have an opportunity to set themselves apart as great places to work. To attract the best people, it has become imperative for companies in India to develop systems which enable employees to reach their full potential in teams and departments. Customised interventions can go a long way towards fostering collaboration and building a stronger work culture.

Dale Carnegie India partnered with the NHRD in India to survey over 1,200 executives, individual contributors, managers and chief officers across the country in 2014.


  1. Why does Gallup Say only 10% indians are engaged?
    confusing; competitive statistics?

    and 30% or so disengaged.

    30% Americans are engaged ???

Comment on the Article

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

1 + 9 =

Previous articleWipro organises virtual hackathon for its employees
Next articleCar-Pool
Prajjal Saha is the editor and publisher of HRKatha, which he founded in 2015. With nearly 25 years of experience in business journalism, writing, and editing, he is a true industry veteran who possesses a deep understanding of all facets of business, from marketing and distribution to technology and human resources. Along with his work at HRKatha, he is also the author of the Marketing White Book. Thanks to his extensive experience and expertise, he has become a trusted source of insight and analysis for professionals across a wide range of industries.