The High Price of Disengagement


Disengagement is epidemic.


Gallup estimates that 71% of Americans are “not engaged” or “actively disengaged” in their work, meaning that they are emotionally disconnected from their workplace.


Close to half of marriages end in divorce and a third of children in the U.S. are growing up fatherless.


2/3 of the American population is overweight or obese.


7,000 high school students drop out every school day.


Big deal! These are merely statistics. Numbers are used to “tell lies and damned lies, while accounting reports are often BS in a ball gown.” [1]


The human toll extracted in suffering and lost opportunity of this pandemic ripples across generations.


Disengagement in the workplace results in lower productivity, safety, retention, customer satisfaction and profitability. Disengaged workers are also less likely to say their employer is hiring, so actually have an inverse impact on jobs recovery.


Obesity carries a staggering price tag of $150 billion in direct medical costs and slows economic growth because of the loss of worker productivity due to disability and death. Treating chronic noncommunicable diseases consumes 75% of global healthcare spending.


71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes and young men who grow up in homes without fathers are twice as likely to end up in jail as those who come from traditional two-parent families. The annual economic burn rate of two million people in prison in the U.S. averages $24,000 per inmate.


Had enough depressing numbers for today?


What’s the cure for this pandemic? Here’s a hint—the solution isn’t to DO more or SPEND more.


DO less. BE more.




[1] “Storytelling That moves People: A conversation with Screenwriting Coach Robert McKee,” Harvard Business Review (June 2003).




  • David Meggers on January 18, 2012 at 9:14 am said:

    Wonderfully appropriate to the whole Lutheran et al doctrine of Vocation. Imagine what might happen to the drop-out rate alone, not to mention the extent to which these young people might “engage”, if we “engaged” in our parenting vocations!