top of page

5 interesting insights about the global workforce today

Group of business professionals at work.
Key takeaways from Gallup’s just-published State of the Global Workforce 2023 annual report.

Every year since 2005, Gallup releases an annual report that aggregates employee experience data from around the world. Gallup surveys tens of thousands of employees from over 160 countries, making it the largest and most comprehensive ongoing employee survey in the world.

The State of the Global Workplace report is invaluable because it allows leaders and managers to understand the macro trends related to employee wellbeing, job satisfaction, and stress levels — and catalyze them to examine engagement at their own organizations.

Here are some surprising findings and statistics from the recently published report.

1. Global employee engagement is rising … slowly

23% of the world’s employees were engaged at work in 2022, a statistically significant increase over the 21% employee engagement level reported in 2021. Gallup estimates that this increase is largely due to the growth of engagement in the South Asia region, where at 33%, is the most engaged region in the world. The U.S. and Canada regions rank second most-engaged at 31%.

Europe, the Middle East and North Africa are regions with the lowest engagement at work, with just 13% and 15%, respectively.

2. However, most employees are “quiet quitting”

You’ve likely heard of quiet quitting, the concept of doing the bare minimum at work, and refusing to go above and beyond. Quiet quitting can be caused by many factors, such as burnout, lack of purpose, and feelings of being silenced, and is often a symptom of disengagement at work.

According to Gallup, 59% of the world’s employees are quiet quitting: They’re filling a seat, minimally productive, and feel disengaged from their employer and colleagues.

3. Too many employees are actively disengaged

18% of the world’s employees are actively disengaged or “loudly quitting.” This means that nearly a fifth of our global workforce is undercutting the goals of the company, not cooperating with their coworkers, and likely contributing to a poor company culture. “At some point along the way, the trust between employee and employer was severely broken,” says Gallup.

Globally, over half of employees (51%) expressed an intent to leave their current jobs in 2022.

4. Stress levels are ultra-high — especially in East Asia, the U.S., and Canada

While the Gallup study doesn’t detail why employees feel stressed, it found that 44% of workers around the world feel stress at their job almost daily — the same record-high levels as 2021.

Employees in East Asia and the U.S. and Canada experience significantly higher stress than the rest of the regions studied: 52% of employees in these areas reported feeling stress at their jobs often.

5. Employee engagement impacts the economy

Low employee engagement costs the global economy $8.8 trillion – 9% of the global GDP. Employee engagement is linked to everything from customer retention to organic business growth.

That’s why it’s paramount for leaders to adopt ways to increase employee engagement, wellness, and job satisfaction.

“The world is full of untapped potential, with six in ten of us not necessarily going the extra mile, not feeling driven to achieve all that we could,” explains Pa Sinyan, regional managing partner at Gallup, in a webinar.

Clearly, there’s ample opportunity to improve the employee experience worldwide.

Increase employee engagement at an organizational level

Employee engagement is a crucial force in the workplace that deserves to be studied, measured, and managed. Employee engagement is tied to workplace productivity, performance, satisfaction, and wellbeing — but it doesn’t equate to happiness. Gallup’s report measured record-high levels of employee engagement and stress, indicating that engagement is more than being content at work. It’s also about company culture.

Organizations that maintain a trust-based relationship with their employees, underscore purpose, and build strong connections between managers, teams, and colleagues, will be the long-term winners in a changing workplace environment.

Reach out to our team to learn how can help your company improve employee engagement with social impact experiences.


bottom of page