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Published On: Mon, Nov 9th, 2015

Only 13% of Employees are Engaged at Work

According to a new 142-country study carried out by Gallup on the State of the Global Workplace, only 13% of employees worldwide are actually engaged at work. Put in simple terms, only one in eight employees across the globe are mentally committed to their organizations and proactively working in such a way that will contribute to and benefit the organizations which they are employed by. The majority of employees worldwide – 63% – do not share this engagement, meaning that they are lacking in motivation and are more unlikely to invest any discretionary effort in company goals or outcomes. 24% of employees are ‘actively disengaged’, being unproductive, unsatisfied in their jobs and more likely to spread negative feelings amongst their colleagues. Statistically speaking, there are roughly around 900 million workers not engaged and 340 million actively disengaged employees globally.

Regional Differences

As in previous employee studies carried out by Gallup, engagement levels amongst employees tend to vary greatly across different global regions and countries within these regions. At the regional level, Northern America (the US and Canada) is reported to have the largest proportion of engaged employees at 29%, followed closely by Australia and New Zealand with a score of 24%.

However, not all economically developed regions fare quite as favorably, with 14% of employees reported to be disengaged across 19 Western European countries, with a significantly higher 20% of workers reported to be actively disengaged. However, the highest numbers of employees that are actively disengaged are found in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) with a score of 35%, closely followed by sub-Saharan African regions with a score of 33%.

Societal Differences

Differences between employees with different job types and varying levels of education are also revealed by the findings, and recognizing these specific differences could enable more employers and managers to understand how societal factors have an effect on characteristics in the workplace and help them to identify the various specific societal barriers that must be overcome in order to build a productive workforce that is more engaged.

Regardless of the region or type of business industry, companies must learn how to maintain a high level of employee engagement and productivity in order to grow their customer base within varying social, cultural and economic environments if they want to adapt to global economic conditions that are subject to rapid change. Vital to this goal are systems that allow for the reliable measurement and improvement of employee engagement across various industries and regions globally.

DFID—UK Dept. or International Development from Flickr Creative Commons.

DFID—UK Dept. or International Development from Flickr Creative Commons.

The Bottom Line

It is a well-known fact that the vast majority of people spend a substantial part of their time working, in many different industries. As a result of this, the quality of the workplace environment is highly reflected in the quality of individual employees’ personal lives. Gallup’s findings that globally, the vast majority of employees are reporting a negative experience at work with just one in eight employees being actively motivated and enthusiastic about their jobs, is an important factor to take into consideration when determining why the global economy remains sluggish and in many countries, social unrest abounds.

There are a number of reasons for why an employee may be actively disengaged at work, for example lower education levels, feelings of underappreciation or being taken for granted, and other employees may feel they are overqualified for the job or are in a job which they do not see as a future career.

To combat this issue, business leaders across the world must work to raise the bar on current levels of employee engagement. Increasing engagement and productivity in the workplace is a vital key to achieving sustainable growth for many companies, communities and even countries, and will make a large contribution to putting the global economy back on track and working towards a more peaceful and prosperous future. Use of Global Business Solutions to increase engagement and productivity is advisable.

Survey Methods

For the survey mentioned, Gallup collected employee engagement results from a total of 73,752 participants in the Gallup World Poll and 151,335 US participants through using the Gallup Daily Tracking survey. Those respondents who indicated that they were employed either full or part-time by an employer were given employee engagement questions. In order to arrive at global and regional aggregates, country level results are weighted by population size. Regarding results based on the total population sample, one can say with around 95% confidence that the margin of sampling error is less than +- one sample point.

Guest Author: Carol Trehearn

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  1. 4 Things that Successful Small Businesses Do Better than the Rest | The Global Dispatch says:

    […] with financial incentives — to let their people know how important and valued they are, and to keep them engaged through good times and […]

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