Workers in South Dakota had the nation's lowest rate of "active disengagement" at 12 percent in 2013-2014, according to a survey conducted by Gallup.
The national average for 2013-2014 was 18 percent active disengagement, while -- at 21 percent -- Connecticut, New York, Michigan and Kentucky tied for the highest percentage of actively disengaged workers.
The Rushmore state ranked in the second quintile for employee engagement, although an exact percentage wasn't available in a summary report on the Gallup website. (The full report can be downloaded when requested on the website.) Neighboring Montana ranked highest for worker engagement, at 39 percent. The national average was 31 percent.
Gallup defines worker disengagement as: "Employees are not just unhappy at work; these employees undermine the accomplishments of their engaged coworkers. They monopolize managers' time, account for more quality defects and quit at a higher rate than engaged employees."
Employee engagement is defined as: "Employees are involved in and enthusiastic about their work and workplace. Day after day, they are passionate about their jobs and feel a profound connection to their company. They are more productive, drive innovation and promote organizational growth."
Companies with engaged workers are more profitable, have higher employee retention rates, lower accident rates and more benefits.
Active worker disengagement tends to be linked to states with higher rates of unemployment/underemployment and higher rates of lay-offs. Higher rates of worker engagement tend to be linked to smaller companies, where employees take more ownership of the workplace, and low rates of unemployment, suggesting a competitive labor market.
The survey also found that individual managers have a direct bearing on levels of worker engagement, with some managers achieving total worker engagement and others creating high rates of disengagement.
Read more about South Dakota's economy on the South Dakota Dashboard.