A $7.8 trillion work problem festers

Workers around the globe are experiencing high rates of disengagement and unhappiness — an expensive problem for the economy, according to Gallup's annual State of the Global Workplace Report

Pre-pandemic, engagement was on the rise globally for nearly a decade — now, it has plateaued. Globally, employee engagement rose by 1 percentage point in 2021, but remained below its 2019 peak. Gallup estimates that low engagement costs the global economy $7.8 trillion in lost productivity. 

In 2020, the world's workers reached an all-time high for experiencing stress during a lot of the previous day. In 2021, this percentage climbed even higher, with 44 percent of employees reporting they had experienced stress for a significant portion of the previous day.

In the U.S., 50 percent of workers reported feeling stressed and 41 percent reported feeling worried at their jobs on a daily basis. Despite these percentages, the U.S. and Canada have the most engaged employees with 33 percent reporting engagement compared to the global 21 percent. Sixty percent of U.S. workers reported they are thriving compared to the global 33 percent. 

"Business units with engaged workers have 23 percent higher profit compared with business units with miserable workers," Gallup CEO Jon Clifton wrote in the report. "Additionally, teams with thriving workers see significantly lower absenteeism, turnover and accidents; they also see higher customer loyalty."


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