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Motivation among American workers is on the wane this year, and a majority of them aren’t highly engaged with their jobs — reducing their productivity — a new survey shows.

The ADP Research Institute, an arm of a major U.S. payroll-processing firm, on Wednesday unveiled its monthly Employee Motivation & Commitment Index, with data going back to December 2021.

The index assesses employee engagement, resilience and connection. As of August, it stood at 100, the lowest level since June last year, and down from a December peak of 121. ADP says that values above 100 suggest growing commitment and motivation, while those below that level signal diminishing engagement.

It typically takes many years’ worth of data for an indicator to garner a following among economists and investors. Still, the ADP index potentially could offer a gauge of worker satisfaction at a time of increasing tensions between some employers and their staff, over issues ranging from pay to remote work.

ADP said that workers who score highly in motivation and commitment have less intent to leave an organization and tend to have higher levels of output.

The survey has about 2,500 respondents a month, who are queried for their thoughts on a variety of aspects about the workplace experience.

Among the findings:

  • Highly productive workers are 2.6 times more likely to respond positively to questions about work and motivation compared with moderately productive workers, and 4.9 times more likely than low-productivity workers.
  • Overall, about 4 in 10 workers are highly productive.
  • By field, information and technology has the biggest share of highly motivated and committed workers, while education and transportation and warehousing the smallest.

Separately, annual survey data from Gallup has found that 34 percent of U.S. employees are engaged at work. That’s up slightly from 32 percent in 2022.

The ADP’s data showed a potential quandary for employers with regard to highly motivated and committed staff. The research found that within a month of their first promotion, 29 percent of people left the firm. Only by the six-month mark were promoted individuals about equal as others to depart.