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Key Findings: Gallup's 2024 State of the Global Workplace Report

June 18, 2024   ·  
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Gallup’s latest State of the Global Workplace report is here, and the findings are troubling to say the least.

To save you the time of reading the full 26-page report, we’ve summarised some of the key takeaways and recommended actions for organisations below.  

Employee engagement  

90% of UK employees are unenthused about their work and their workplace, according to Gallup's state of the global workplace 2024 report.

The current state of employee engagement  

The rate of global employee engagement is a non-mover at 23%. Remarkably, this is the highest rate of engagement since Gallup began measuring it. Not exactly the record we should be aspiring to.  

Their report found that 62% of employees are not engaged, and 15% are actively disengaged.  

Engagement is low across the board, but the UK fares especially badly in the report – particularly compared to the US.  

A staggering 90% of UK workers do not feel enthusiastic about their work or their workplace, and 6 in 10 are quiet quitting.  

These findings make the UK workforce one of the most dissatisfied and disengaged in Europe.  

 

“The UK continues to perform poorly on employee engagement... businesses need to be championing employees and giving them the right tools and resources to be productive and purposeful...  

... Employers that fail to make employee engagement a priority risk losing talent and, ultimately, jeopardise their overall success.”  

Anne Sawyer, Gallup partner  

  

The financial implications of poor engagement  

Let’s be clear, employee engagement is not just a matter of winning hearts and minds. It’s deeply intertwined with individual and business performance.  

Gallup estimates that poor engagement costs the global economy $8.8 trillion in lost productivity. That’s 9% of global GDP.  

The link is obvious; when employees feel valued and significant at work, they’re motivated to work towards organisational goals. When they don’t, it erodes trust, engagement, and – ultimately – productivity.  

  

Employee wellbeing is in decline 

Just 34% of the world's employees are thriving in their overall wellbeing, according to Gallup's State of the Global Workplace 2024 report

“The majority of the world’s employees continue to struggle at work and in life, with direct consequences for organisational productivity.”  

While engagement flounders at largely the same low level as last year, wellbeing has seen its first ever overall decline.  

Just 34% of employees report thriving in their overall wellbeing.  

Undoubtedly, the reasons for poor wellbeing at work differ widely from individual to individual. But Gallup’s report sheds some light on the reasons why employees are struggling.  

20% of employees feel lonely at work, and 1 in 5 report feelings of anger. It sadly comes as no surprise that 41% report experiencing ‘a lot of stress.’ 

Employees are any organisation’s greatest asset, and unless we reverse the decline in wellbeing at work then individuals and business performance will continue to suffer.  

 

Key lessons from Gallup’s report  

The State of the Global Workplace report identifies a workforce that is struggling in every sense of the word.

Employees feel disconnected from workplace culture and unmotivated towards organisational goals.  

There are myriad issues at play here, but the vast majority come down to listening – or a lack of it.  

Beyond periodic surveys  

The engagement survey has been around since the early 20th century, and it’s still heavily relied upon to try and measure and improve engagement.  

But, given that 23% of engaged employees worldwide represents a ‘record high,’ it’s time to question this approach.  

For employees, inviting their opinions every 3-6 months or even every year feels transactional. The questions asked are dictated by management and reflect what they perceive to be the most important topics at hand. As a result, the process feels remote from day-to-day reality for many.  

The answer to ‘survey fatigue’ is not to run more or less surveys, or adjust the number or nature of questions included. It’s the survey cycle itself that’s eroding trust and breeding disengagement amongst employees.  

Let’s be clear, leaders run surveys because they want to improve things for their people. But the reality is that it takes so long to roll out, gather responses, and develop an action plan, that by the time those actions come around employees are facing a new set of circumstances. 

What’s more, there’s not a survey in the world that can detect the early signs of decline in individual wellbeing and facilitate early intervention.  

The survey cycle is too slow for the modern workplace.  

Today’s workplace demands a new approach. Today’s employees deserve a better approach.  

 

Embracing live and continuous listening  

More and more organisations are aware of the need to change the way they listen to their people.  

But continuous listening is not just a trend; it’s a necessity to keep pace with the demands placed on businesses and their people today.  

When you move from periodic insights to live and continuous listening, you:  

Sounds like a no brainer, right?  

But we understand that moving from periodic soundbites to surround-sound listening can feel like a big step.  

And that’s where our new initiative comes in...  

 

Introducing The Big Listen  

Our new 90-day deep listening initiative gives you the opportunity to experience all the benefits of live and continuous listening for a fixed time period.  

Consider it your opportunity to show your people you care, and to give them the listening-to they deserve.  

If you’re currently going through transformational change, such as a restructuring or the introduction of a new leadership team, then this is the perfect time to engage in deep listening.  

You’ll not only gain a clearer understanding of sentiment and morale amongst your people throughout the change journey, but also foster more engagement and motivation towards the end goal.  

The Big Listen is not just about short-term success though. The insights you harvest over 90 days of deep listening will lay the foundations for sustained success in employee engagement and wellbeing.  

Uncover obstacles, ideas, concerns, and opinions you simply can’t access through other channels.  

Interested in discussing what your organisation could achieve with The Big Listen? Let's set up an initial discovery call. 

Lydia Blundell
Lydia Blundell

Brand & Content Manager , Connect with Lydia on LinkedIn

Employee engagementHealthy companiesStrategyCultureWellbeingEmployee voice
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