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The State of the Global Workplace

Gallup recently released their annual State of the Global Workplace report, detailing what trends they are seeing in regard to employee engagement, retention, experience, and more. Our team had a chance to review the report in its entirety and over the coming days & weeks we will be sharing some of the key insights we discovered so that you don’t have to spend as much time as we did digging through the nearly 100-page document :)

For those unfamiliar with Gallup, they are a renowned research and analytics firm that specializes in collecting and analyzing data related to public opinion, attitudes, and behavior. With a history spanning over eight decades, they are widely recognized for their expertise in conducting surveys and polls to provide insights into various aspects of society, including politics, economics, social issues, and well-being. Their findings and reports are often referenced by policymakers, businesses, media outlets, and researchers seeking to understand public sentiment, trends, and patterns. We will be focusing our articles on one specific area of their research, which is presented in their annual State of the Workplace report: Employees & Organizations. To dig in on your own, you can download their report here.

The Gallup State of the Global Workplace Report 2023 focuses on three key buckets of data, with some important subtopics:

  • Employee Engagement

    • This includes the areas of Thriving at Work, Quiet Quitting, and Loud Quitting (formerly known as Active Disengagement).

  • Daily Negative Emotions

    • This includes the areas of Stress and Anger

  • Job Market

    • This includes the areas of Job Climate and employees’ Intent to Leave

They also break these areas down further via demographic data, including:

  • Gender (only Men and Women listed)

  • Age (under 40 and 40+)

  • Job Level (Manager and Individual Contributor)

  • Work location (Exclusively Remote, Hybrid, and On-site)

Finally, they segment data regionally, as well. The regional clusters include:

  • The United States and Canada

  • Latin America & the Caribbean

  • Europe

  • Post-Societ Eurasia

  • The Middle East & North Africa

  • Sub-Saharan Africa

  • East Asia

  • South Asia

  • Southeast Asia

  • Australia & New Zealand

We will explore all of the data categories shared above to pinpoint some of the most interesting and practical insights we found to help teams and leaders like you in avoiding some of the major pitfalls that other regions (and the world at large) are facing currently.

However, if you just want the top two high-level takeaways from the report, I’ll let Gallup CEO Jon Clifton give you his thoughts, as shared in his own “From the CEO” section of the report-

“The message is clear. Economic growth is slowing. And if we don’t increase global GDP, every other problem gets harder to solve.

So, what can leaders do today to potentially save the world?

Gallup has found one clear answer: Change the way your people are managed.

In this year’s State of the Global Workplace report, we estimate that low engagement costs the global economy $8.8 trillion. That’s 9% of global GDP — enough to make the difference between success and a failure for humanity.

Poor management leads to lost customers and lost profits, but it also leads to miserable lives. Gallup’s research into wellbeing at work finds that having a job you hate is worse than being unemployed — and those negative emotions end up at home, impacting relationships with family. If you’re not thriving at work, you’re unlikely to be thriving at life.

This report captures the voice of the world’s employees to help leaders make better decisions. There are some positive trends, but also a lot of work to do. Here’s where leaders should start:

1) Focus on your most winnable employees. Nearly six in 10 employees are quietly quitting, but they are likely to become engaged with a few changes to their workplace.
2) Give them a better manager. In the past three years, Gallup has used our best science to train over 14,000 managers to be effective coaches. Nine to 18 months later, their teams’ engagement ranged from 8% to 18% higher.”

Good to know, right? Well...kind of.

It’s nice to know that these are areas that need our focus and investment, but the question now becomes, “What kinds of changes will help us engage our most ‘winnable’ employees and what does it mean to give them a better manager?

These are the questions we’ll be attempting to answer in the upcoming articles in this series. We will dive into the data to see what specific insights we can pull globally and in selected regions to come up with specific suggestions and tactics for you to employ as you build a better workplace.

But before that, do either of the areas called out by Clifton surprise you? Did you expect something not listed? Share your thoughts in the comments and we’ll do our best to incorporate those questions and thoughts into the upcoming articles in the series!

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