New study finds link between investment in learning and employee engagement.

A 2014 study by Purdue University and the Gallup organization recently found that learning and development (i.e., earning a college degree) is associated with higher engagement levels of employees. Specifically, 40% of college graduates report that they are engaged on their jobs, and when non-college graduates are considered, that number drops to 30% for the population at large. Although these numbers may seem low, education matters. It also suggests however, that there are many opportunities to increase engagement levels of the other 60-70% of employees who are unengaged or actively disengaged at work.

Organizations are increasingly investing in their employees’ development, and why not? Disengaged employees are costly to organizations, costing firms $350 Billion per year, according to Gallup. Such employees are more likely to be less productive, absent or late to work, and less helpful to others. They shirk their duties, steal from their company, sabotage equipment, and are more hostile toward coworkers.

Because leadership is one of the largest contributors to increasing engagement on the job, firms that invest in developing leadership competencies among their leaders stand to benefit from increased employee engagement. Great leaders improve the bottom line! For more information, see: GallupPurdueIndex_Report_2014_050514_mh_LR