Gallup is out with its 2013 State of the American Workplace Report. The cornerstone of the report is that 70 percent of American workers are “emotionally disconnected from their workplaces.” This number has not varied by more than 4 percentage points in a dozen years.

The report begs the question: Does “employee engagement” drive company performance or is it the other way around?

Gallup notes that engagement is “strongly connected to business outcomes.” Take a look at Gallup’s employee engagement chart for firms that are hiring vs. firms that are downsizing. For firms that are hiring, “employee engagement” is at 43 percent. For firms letting go? The number plummets to 13 percent. Did disengaged employees cause these firms to decline, or is it more likely that employees disengage from employers who are failing?

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