Just 15% of employees are engaged. The rest lose $7 trillion in productivity

  in Annual Employee Engagement Doesn’t Work, Engaged Staff - May 29, 2018

An alarmingly small minority of just 15% of employees worldwide feel engaged in their work. Leading analytics and performance management consultancy Gallup estimates the global costs of unproductivity at a staggering $7 trillion and advises firms on how best to reclaim lost profit.

Employee engagement and workplace productivity are inextricably linked. Studies repeatedly confirm that employees who are absorbed in and enthusiastic about their work perform better and create more value for their organisation. Yet extensive new analysis from Gallup – renowned for its pioneering research methodology – reveals engaged employees to be in the minority.

Gallup’s ‘State of the Global Workforce’ report is an exhaustive breakdown of data accrued from employees across 155 countries. Researchers found that, globally, just 15%, or slightly over a sixth, of workers were actively engaged in their jobs. This figure varies considerably across countries and regions, but never exceeds 40%. The cost to the global economy in lost productivity? Estimated at $7 trillion annually by the experts.

Strikingly, the percentage of employees who are not merely disengaged but decidedly discouraged by their role is higher – at 18% – than those who are excited by it. Outside the extremes of antipathetic and enthusiastic workers live the majority of the global workforce (67%) who are simply not engaged. “They are not your worst performers,” explain the authors, “but they are indifferent to your organisation. They give you their time, but not their best effort nor their best ideas.”


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