Gallup Report: Global Rise in Employee Engagement
Employee engagement reached a record high in 2022, according to Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace: 2023 Report.
The report found engagement rose to 23% after dropping during the pandemic in 2020.
That means more workers found their work meaningful and felt connected to their team, manager, and employer.
The previous high was 22% in 2019.
The report attributed most of the gain to a 7% increase in engagement in South Asia.
The region, which includes India, leads the world in employee engagement at 33%.
However, the report found no gain in engagement or job opportunities in the United States and Canada.
Engagement in the U.S. and Canada is 31%, while the lowest global region is Europe at 13%.
“Employee engagement will become increasingly important as the globe enters uncertain economic times,” said Gallup chief workplace scientist Jim Harter.
“Our research has shown that engagement has a stronger effect on organizational performance during a tough economy.”
Despite the global increase in employee engagement, the report found there is still a long way to go.
While the report considers 23% of workers as “thriving,” 59% are not engaged, with 18% actively disengaged.
In the U.S. and Canada, 52% of workers are not engaged, and 17% are actively disengaged.
The report said people who are not engaged are considered quiet quitters.
These workers put in the minimum effort required, and are psychologically disconnected from their employer.
Researchers called actively disengaged are loud quitters, and said they take actions that directly harm the organization.
Gallup estimates that low engagement costs the global economy $8.8 trillion and accounts for 9% of global GDP.
Worldwide, a record high 44% of employers said they experience a lot of stress at work.
In the U.S. and Canada, 52% of workers reported daily stress, tied with East Asia for the highest globally.
Gallup’s survey did not ask for specifics about what is stressing out workers, but said low engagement is linked to higher stress along with external factors like inflation or family health issues.
The report found that managers play an outsized role in the stress workers feel on the job, and when employees are engaged, they report less stress.
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?”
Forty-one percent of respondents said they would change engagement or culture.
That includes employee recognition, more open communication with managers, more respect, and more autonomy.
Pay and benefits (28%) and wellbeing (16%) rounded out the top three.
Amid the ongoing debate over remote, hybrid, or on-site work, Gallup found that engagement had nearly four times as much influence on employee stress as work location.
That means that their feelings of involvement and enthusiasm mattered more than where they were sitting.
“With a massive increase in the work-life blend through more fully remote or hybrid work, the job of managing has never been more complex—and never more important,” said Harter.
“Fully remote and hybrid employees are more highly engaged than fully on-site employees.
“But they also report higher stress and a higher tendency to be watching for other jobs.”
Globally, more than half of employees (51%) said they are either actively or passively looking for a new job.
That number is slightly lower in the U.S. and Canada, at 47%.
The top factors for people who are job seeking include increased pay, improved wellbeing, and opportunities to grow and develop.
Seventy-one percent of respondents in the U.S. and Canada said that now is a good time to find a new job, compared to 53% globally.
Researchers said that this means deeply unhappy workers are able to leave and find work that they like.
A recent Gallup analysis found that engaged employees require a 31% pay increase to consider taking a new job.
At the same time, not engaged and actively disengaged employees, want an average 22% pay increase to change jobs.
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