In 2022, employee engagement and job opportunities surged globally, coming back in line with pre-pandemic historical trends on economic development and growth. Gallup’s new report shows the rest of the world closing the gap with the U.S./Canada in positive aspects for workers.
The study examined how employees feel about their work and their lives, an important predictor of organizational resilience and performance. Although engagement is rising, the majority of the world’s workers are still quiet quitting. But the State of the Global Workplace 2023 Report found that when employees thrive at work, it’s better for business and humanity, even as worker stress remains at a record high.
Some key finding are:
Employee engagement reached a record high in 2022
After dropping in 2020 during the pandemic, employee engagement is on the rise again, reaching a record-high 23%. This means more workers found their work meaningful and felt connected to their team, manager and employer. That’s good news for global productivity and GDP growth.
The majority of the world’s employees are quiet quitting
Quiet quitting is what happens when someone psychologically disengages from work. They may be physically present or logged into their computer, but they don’t know what to do or why it matters. They also don’t have any supportive bonds with their coworkers, boss or their organization.
Nearly six in 10 employees fell into this category. When combined with actively disengaged employees, low engagement costs the global economy $8.8 trillion dollars, or 9% of global GDP.
Employee stress remained at a record high
Worldwide, 44% of employees said they experienced a lot of stress the previous day. This is the second year in a row worker stress reached record levels.
Employee stress rose in 2020, likely due to the pandemic. But employee stress has been rising for over a decade. Many factors influence stress, but Gallup finds that managers play an outsized role in the stress workers feel on the job, which influences their daily stress overall.
Engagement matters more than where workers work
For organizations with remote-capable employees, there has been an ongoing debate. Which is better: Working remote, hybrid or fully on-site? Remote work can provide greater flexibility and eliminate commuting stress. On the other hand, being on-site provides opportunities to bond, collaborate and mentor.
Gallup analysis found that engagement has 3.8x as much influence on employee stress as work location. How people feel about their job has a lot more to do with their relationship with their team and manager than being remote or being on-site.
“Quiet quitters” know what they would change at work
As part of the survey, researchers asked respondents, “If you could make one change at your current employer to make it a great place to work, what would it be?” Overall, 85% of responses related to three categories: engagement or culture, pay and wellbeing.
- 41% | Engagement or culture
- 28% | Pay and benefits
- 16% | Wellbeing
According to the report, many respondents said they would like more recognition, opportunities to learn, fair treatment, clearer goals and better managers.
“The message is clear. Economic growth is slowing. And if we don’t increase global GDP, every other problem gets harder to solve. So, what can leaders do today to potentially save the world? Gallup has found one clear answer: Change the way your people are managed.”, concludes Gallup’s CEO Jon Clifton.