New Research from Right Management Uncovers Alarming Employee-Employer Disconnect, Engagement Crisis

Press Release from ManpowerGroup

MILWAUKEE, May 16, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- Right Management, a global leader in talent and career management solutions and part of the ManpowerGroup family of brands, has released the first groundbreaking installment in its four-part State of Careers series. "The Engagement Illusion" report, now available for download, reveals alarming truths and eye-opening insights into today's employee-employer dynamic, exposing a deep crisis in employee engagement, hidden behind an illusion of perceived worker satisfaction.

The Engagement Illusion

Backed by extensive proprietary research and surveys of more than 400 leaders and 1,000 employees in the United States and Canada, "The Engagement Illusion" finds leaders across a variety of industries mistakenly believe their employees are highly engaged and loyal to their organizations.

Key findings and insights:

  • Leaders grossly overestimate employee engagement. 83% of leaders responded that their workforce is fully engaged, while only 48% of employees would categorize themselves as fully engaged. This suggests a large gulf between what leaders think and reality.
  • Employees are also less loyal than leaders perceive. While three-quarters of employee participants noted that they'd like to stay at their organization for the foreseeable future, half of them are open to taking steps toward taking a job elsewhere.
  • There is an unexpected relationship between engagement and retention.
    Only highly engaged employees are more likely to remain at their organizations. Those who are somewhat engaged are just as likely to leave as disengaged employees.
  • The least engaged employee segment consists of mid-career and middle-layer employees. Our research found that those who have been at the organization for three to five years are most likely to be actively looking for a new job.
  • There is a light at the end of the tunnel. Investing in employee development drives engagement. Employees want to be loyal, engaged, and productive; they just need additional support from leadership to meet their needs. Organizations must prioritize employee engagement with career management and talent development approaches that will drive organizational change, particularly at the middle layer and mid-career levels of the organization.

"Right Management's research is a wakeup call to leaders everywhere. Employees are not as engaged and loyal as leaders think they are," Karel van der Mandele, SVP of Right Management North America, said. "Fortunately, the research also shows what leaders need to do to improve engagement, and that is to invest in their talent and career development."

This report marks the beginning of a broader conversation, with three additional reports slated for release later this year. With the latest proprietary research, newest trends, and expert insights from Right Management, HR and business leaders will successfully navigate the engagement crisis and bridge the gap between themselves and their employees. This way, organizations will future-proof themselves against reduced productivity and the loss of top talent.

"The Engagement Illusion," complete with actionable insights and recommendations for organizations, is available now at

ManpowerGroup® (NYSE: MAN), the leading global workforce solutions company, helps organizations transform in a fast-changing world of work by sourcing, assessing, developing, and managing the talent that enables them to win. We develop innovative solutions for hundreds of thousands of organizations every year, providing them with skilled talent while finding meaningful, sustainable employment for millions of people across a wide range of industries and skills. Our expert family of brands – Manpower, Experis, and Talent Solutions – creates substantially more value for candidates and clients across more than 70 countries and territories and has done so for more than 75 years. We are recognized consistently for our diversity – as a best place to work for Women, Inclusion, Equality, and Disability, and in 2024 ManpowerGroup was named one of the World's Most Ethical Companies for the 15th time – all confirming our position as the brand of choice for in-demand talent.

For more information, visit, or follow us on LinkedIn, X (formerly Twitter), Facebook, and Instagram.

Talent Solutions combines our leading global offerings—RPO, TAPFIN-MSP and Right Management—to help organizations address their complex workforce needs. Talent Solutions leverages our deep industry expertise and understanding of what talent wants to provide end-to-end, data-driven capabilities across the talent lifecycle. From talent attraction and acquisition to upskilling, development and retention, we provide seamless delivery, leveraging best-in-class technology and extensive workforce insights across multiple countries at scale. Right Management, part of the ManpowerGroup® family of companies—including Manpower and Experis—is our global talent management offering for outplacement, career management and leader development solutions. 

For more information, visit, or follow us on LinkedIn, X (formerly Twitter), and Facebook.

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