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To understand how the global workplace is doing, experts measure employee wellbeing and engagement. The two interconnected factors show whether the people at work within a company are likely to be productive, innovative and to stay long-term.

The analytics and advisory company Gallup, known for its worldwide public opinion polls recently released data from an employee engagement survey using randomly selected individuals from the world population. They polled adults 18 and up in a range of industries to gain insight on the current state of engagement. The 170-page report has much to unpack and is an interesting read. Here we’ll cover some of the things that stand out most.

Key Terms & Why They Matter

Why are wellbeing and engagement the predictors of long-term success? Measuring employee wellbeing involves calculating the sum of each employee’s mental, physical, emotional and economic health and averaging across an organization. Data should reflect how people feel about each other, how well they collaborate, what tools they have available to do their job and what resources are in place to help them move forward and achieve goals.

Employee engagement is whether or not your staff feels plugged in, meaningful and involved in the overall success of your business. Engaged employees don’t just show up with a spring in their steps, they would recommend a job at their workplace to others they know.

When wellbeing and engagement are high, so is productivity and employee retention. Absenteeism is low because when people feel good about what they do, they’re more likely to feel good in general.

The Global Outlook

Since around 2009, global employee engagement has been slowly but steadily rising. The most recent Gallup data shows it hit its high point in 2019 when 22 percent of employees reported they were engaged at work and 30 percent rated their wellbeing as “thriving.”

Like pretty much everything else, the pandemic disrupted that trend. There was a dip in engagement in 2020 and only a percentage point gain in 2021. The global numbers currently sit at 21% engagement and 33% positive wellbeing. In other words, forward progress isn’t going anywhere fast.

That’s understandable considering the amounts of worry, stress, anger and sadness that swept the globe. Currently, 44 % of the world’s workers say they experienced one of those emotions in the course of the previous workday, with the most common negative daily emotion being stress. Employees say they struggle with a negative outlook because they don’t:

  • Feel like what they do is meaningful
  • Have hope the future is brighter than today
  • Have an overall feeling their job is going well

Engagement Within the U.S.

While global engagement is stalled, researchers found the most positivity within the U.S. and Canada. In both places almost half of respondents (45%) said in their city or area, now is a good time to look for a new job.

The two countries both also rank highest in engagement, and more than half of those surveyed say they’re “living comfortably” on what they make. In contrast, only 22% of people globally feel like their household income allows them to afford the kind of life they want.

What’s the Fix?

Employers have tried everything from four-day work weeks to remote work situations to candy walls to corporate retreats. Awareness of the problem has helped, but sometimes it can feel like the results are not equal to the investment. There’s no one solution because the factors that contribute to active disengagement are many, but there are two things we know will help no matter what type of organization you’re in.

Develop Strong Leaders

People experience a sense of wellbeing and stay engaged when they feel respected and supported. They’re motivated to give their all when their contribution is meaningful and appreciated. Strong managers aren’t just bosses. They’re also coaches, mentors and collaborators.

Hire for Fit

Don’t just look at degrees and certifications when you’re evaluating job candidates. Employees thrive when they share values and beliefs that are similar to those of their co-workers and organization. Understand your current culture and use that knowledge when adding to it.

At Brelsford Personnel, we help employers do just that. Boost your engagement, productivity and employee wellbeing when you partner with us to find the right person for every job, every time.