Before the pandemic, engagement at work was growing year on year. But it is now stagnating, according to Gallup’s report on the state of the global workplace in 2022.
Just 21% of workers are engaged at work, and only 33% ranked their wellbeing as good; this is according to Gallup’s World Poll. While 21% are engaged, just 9% are both engaged and thriving at work – while 57% are neither engaged or thriving at work at the moment.
In addition, Gallup found that 44% of global workers experienced a lot of stress of work – in fact, employee stress has reached an all-time high, and has now exceeded the previous record in 2020. Also, on a daily basis, 40% were worrying about work, 21% experienced anger, and 23% felt sadness.
The problem is that most employees don’t find their work meaningful; Gallup found that workers are simply “living for the weekend” and seeing work as “just a paycheck”. This is concerning given that workers spend more than 81,000 hours at work throughout their lifetimes.
This lack of engagement is not only bad for employees, but it is terrible for businesses and the global economy. Gallup’s research shows that low levels of employee engagement cost the global economy $7.8 trillion, or 11% of GDP.
Ultimately, Gallup’s data shows that businesses with more engaged workplaces have 23% higher profits, as well as lower absenteeism, turnover, accidents at work, as well as higher customer loyalty.
Managers are the solution
Given how costly low engagement and wellbeing challenges are for businesses, organizations must put wellbeing at the top of the workplace agenda – but what’s the best way for employers to do this?
Gallup’s CEO Jon Clifton wrote in the opening remarks to the report: “The real fix is this simple: better leaders in the workplace.
“A manager’s effect on a workplace is so significant that Gallup can predict 70% of the variance in team engagement just by getting to know the boss”.
The research showed that the 21% who have a good working environment still experience stress and worry but at half the rates of those who are disengaged. 95% of engaged workers say they are treated with respect, and 87% smile and laugh regularly at work.
Clifton added: “Managers need to be better listeners, coaches and collaborators.
“Great managers help colleagues learn and grow, recognize their colleagues for doing great work, and make them truly feel cared about. In environments like this, workers thrive.”
Ultimately, “when leaders take responsibility for the wellbeing of their workers, the result is not only productive organizations but thriving individuals, families, and communities”, concluded Clifton.
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