Engaged and stressed!

The 2023 Gallup State of the Global Workplace report offers interesting insights into the dynamics of employee engagement worldwide in 2022. There’s good and bad news for employees globally: They’re more engaged at work but also feel more stress.

The research revealed that workers around the world are historically stressed, disengaged with their work and increasingly fighting with their bosses.

The coexistence of high employee engagement and elevated employee stress may seem contradictory at first glance. However, it is important to understand that these two factors can exist simultaneously due to various dynamics within the workplace and external factors affecting employees’ lives.

The report said leaders at work need to know that high engagement doesn’t equate to happiness and to engage with their employees to ensure they are fulfilled at work.

“True engagement means your people are psychologically present to do their work. They understand what to do; they have what they need; and they have a supportive manager and a supportive team. They know why their work matters. They are work ready,” Gallup concluded.

Survey results revealed that 59% of workers are “quiet quitting,” i.e. are not engaged; and 18% are “loud quitting,” which is the act of being actively disengaged (but still employed). Gallup estimated that low engagement is costing the global economy nearly $9 trillion.

The employees struggling the most with stress are those in a hybrid work model (45%), while those on-site reported feeling the least amount of stress (38%).

In order to make their workplace feel better, 41% of respondents wanted their organization to focus more on engagement and culture. Specifically, employees want more autonomy in their work, approachable managers, and more learning opportunities. 28% of respondents said better pay and benefits would make their workplace better, while 16% wanted their organization to focus more on employee wellbeing.

As organizational leaders navigate economic uncertainty, employee stress is impacting productivity and performance. Gallup advises employers to consider whether poor work performance is a location problem or a management problem and address workplace stressors like low salaries, long hours, and lack of advancement to reengage employees.

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