US Enjoys Highest Engaged Employees, Says Gallup Study

It has been quite a few years for everyone: employers executing massive layoffs, businesses filing for bankruptcy, and countries closing borders to keep the pandemic at bay. These are just some of the global events since the pandemic started.

Global mobility professionals would do well to be informed of the study, as Gallup recognizes these events. In fact, it has taken the initiative to account for the voices of the employees who were subjected to these occurrences to formulate insights so organizations can make better-informed decisions in a rapidly changing business realm.

The firm’s State of the Global Workplace 2022 Report highlights annual findings from an ongoing study of employee experience across the globe. The study explores how employees feel about work and life and consider these as determinants of business resilience and performance.

Though affected by the pandemic, for instance, the United States and Canada enjoyed the highest engaged employees compared to the different continents, garnering 33% employee engagement among the respondents of the study. It comes as no surprise that the employee engagement market is expected to grow by over $1.5 billion in 2022. Furthermore, organizations in the North American continent are identified as the leading markets for employee engagement tools, according to Future Market Insights, Inc.  

Additionally, the United States and Canada scored a life evaluation of 60%. The study explains that the life evaluation is subjected to the spectrum where employees were to identify whether they are currently situated in their best possible life scenario or their worst. This is identified as a thriving metric considering it is almost double the global life evaluation of 33%.

Though life evaluation is considerably optimistic, the world has reached a record-high for experiencing stress at work. While the Northern American continent observed a 7% decrease in daily stress, 50% still experienced high occurrences of stress. 

In an earlier report from CNBC, Jim Harter, Gallup’s chief workplace scientist, stresses that the spike was merely a result of concerns over the COVID-19 virus, financial instability, and even racial trauma.

Another important thing to note is that women shared more contributions of workers who considered themselves stressed at work. This is consistent with the woes that working mothers have been exclaiming over the pandemic period. 

In another aspect, the report elaborated on the current status of the global labor market. The job market in the United States is observed to be recovering from the onslaught of the Great Reshuffle. 45% of employees mentioned that now is a great time to look for work – a minimal improvement from last year’s results. The USA and Canada lead the contribution with 71% of their employees considering it timely to find a job now. On the other hand, regions with less promising job opportunities are discovered in the Middle East and Northern Africa (28%), and East Asia (27%).

This labor market recovery may have been the reason why talks from leading global mobility firms about increased international assignments were expected to begin in the United States.

Thriving workplace defined by environmental, social, and governance metrics 

Improving work life doesn’t need to be complex as mentioned by Gallup’s CEO, Jon Clifton. However, he highlights that advanced technology has allowed human beings closer to colonizing Mars. But what about fixing the world’s broken places?

Stakeholder Capitalists are now considering reporting environmental, social and governance (ESG) metrics and their impact on everything from the environment to the workforce. But when it concerned the worker, Clifton noticed that reports focus only on demographics and pay.

He argues that though these reports are important, do they tell much about whether employees are treated with respect and care? He exclaims that ESG metrics should be tapped to get this information

Even Deloitte recognizes the limitations of today’s ESG metrics reports. They pointed out that the reports only tend to focus on injury, infirmity, and disease. 

To add, Deloitte emphasized the growing evidence that an organization’s environmental, social and governance pillars can be predictors of employee well-being.

For instance, climate change is undeniably affecting human welfare as record-breaking heatwaves have caused severe forest and bush fires – not to mention the drought. Hurricanes and typhoons are predictably becoming more prevalent and packing more intensity. These natural disasters can lead to joblessness and even economic decline.

As for social indicators, racial discrimination in the workplace has mental repercussions on the victims. This will result in lower morale, less productivity, low levels of job satisfaction, and higher attrition rates. COVID-19 has brought to light the current circumstances of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace and there’s much to be improved on. 

At the end of the day, employers need to acknowledge employee well-being as the new workplace imperative. Globally, employee engagement and well-being remain at lower levels but are holding back on their potential to grow. The concurrent relationship between work and personal life has been growing since the pandemic to a point where well-being and engagement aren’t bound to the workplace anymore. It’s high time decision-makers view their employees as human beings rather than human capital.