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Global Workers Under Record-High Stress, According to New Survey

Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace 2022 Report found that employees are under increasing amounts of stress and the engagement rate is stagnantly low. Specifically, 44% of employees around the world have experienced “a lot of daily stress” and only 21% of global employees feel engaged at work. According to the report, legislation, policies, and disclosure requirements might not be sufficient to make employees happy at work, but points out that how managers treat employees and care about their wellbeing plays an important role 

Other important discoveries include:  

  • Europe and South Asia were hit particularly hard with regard to employee wellbeing. Both South Asia (which includes India) and Europe dropped 5% in reported wellbeing in the past year. South Asia had the lowest wellbeing in the world at 11%. Not only did workers in these regions feel their current life was worse, but their hope for the future dropped as well. 

  • Employees in the U.S. and Canada region said it is a good time to find a job — but not elsewhere. 45% of employees worldwide said now is a good time to find a job, with the United States and Canada leading the world at 71%, up 44% from the previous year. However, workers in other regions, such as MENA (28%) and East Asia (27%), are not nearly as positive. Global employers should be careful in regard to their narrative of global labor shortages as job markets recover at different paces around the world.  

  • Managers are key to employee engagement. Gallup found the biggest source of dissatisfaction at work was “unfair treatment at work,” followed by unmanageable workload, unclear communication from managers, lack of manager support, and unreasonable time pressure. A manager’s effect on a workplace is so significant that Gallup can predict 70% of the variance in team engagement just by getting to know the boss. 

  • Employee wellbeing is the new workplace imperative. Employers should rethink the traditional way of focusing on engagement at work and leaving wellbeing outside of work. Instead, improved employee engagement will be difficult to achieve without promoting wellbeing as the report discloses that employees who are engaged at work but not thriving on wellbeing have a 61% higher likelihood of ongoing burnout than those who are engaged and thriving. 

Published on: July 27, 2022

Authors: Wenchao Dong

Topics: Employee Wellbeing, Global, People and Culture

Wenchao Dong

Director, Global Affairs, HR Policy Association

Detailed Bio

Contact Wenchao Dong LinkedIn

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