Article: Loneliness, stress, anger: The dire state of the global employee

Employee Engagement

Loneliness, stress, anger: The dire state of the global employee

New Gallup data shows why investing in engaging managers and better labor policies is critical for employee wellbeing and business success
Loneliness, stress, anger: The dire state of the global employee

20% of the world's employees experience daily loneliness, with remote workers facing significantly higher levels at 25% compared to 16% for on-site workers. Loneliness has devastating effects on physical and mental health, as a Gallup study found that socially isolated people had double the risk of mortality, regardless of health practices.

Gallup's "State of the Global Workplace 2024" report also highlights a worrying decline in younger employees' well-being. While global employee engagement stagnated at 34% in 2023, the well-being of employees under 35 dropped, diverging from older colleagues. This aligns with the World Happiness Report's finding that millennials and Gen Z have lower life evaluations than older generations, a reversal from a decade ago.

A central theme is the strong link between employee engagement and overall life experiences. Actively disengaged employees (15% globally) report higher stress (54%), anger (29%), and lower enjoyment (54%) than engaged peers. Strikingly, being actively disengaged is equivalent to or worse than unemployment for many negative emotions like stress and anger.

Economic factors play a role in disengagement, as countries with better local job markets have lower active disengagement. 

Labour protections like fair wages and maternity leave are associated with better current life evaluations for employees. 

Combining high engagement and robust labour rights yields the lowest levels of negative emotions like stress. However, managers themselves face higher stress, anger, and job-hunting despite being more engaged and thriving in life overall. 

The report showcases "best-practice organizations" where 75% of managers and 70% of employees are engaged, 11 times better than the global average. These firms prioritize manager hiring/development, integrate engagement into processes, and promote well-being. Doing so drives higher productivity, profitability, and customer service, underscoring engagement's business impact.

The sobering state of the global workforce demands leadership action on multiple fronts - combating loneliness, supporting younger employees' well-being, fostering engaging managers, balancing job quality with economic policies, and prioritizing mental health resources, especially for managers. As the report emphasizes, improving lives and organizational success are intertwined goals.

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Topics: Employee Engagement, #Wellbeing

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