Work failing to engage most people


Only 13% of employees worldwide say they are engaged at work, according to a recent study from Gallup.

The 142-county study found that only one in eight workers - approximately 180 million - are committed to their work and are likely to make proactive contributions in their companies and organisations.

Nearly two-thirds (63%) of employees worldwide said they were "not engaged" at work. Gallup described these workers as lacking motivation and being unlikely to invest effort in setting and achieving goals.

Just under a quarter (24%) said they were "actively disengaged", meaning they are unhappy and unproductive at work, and "liable to spread negativity to coworkers".

This translates into 900 million workers not engaged and 340 million actively disengaged around the globe.

The number of employees engaged in work has risen from 11% in 2009-10, while the proportion of workers who are actively disengaged has dropped from 27% to 24%, suggesting that there has been an improvement in the workplace.

According to Gallup, engagement levels vary across global regions and countries. The study shows that Northern America has the highest proportion of engaged workers at 29%, followed by Australia and New Zealand at 24%.

Conversely, East Asia has the lowest rate of engaged workers at only 6%.

The UK was found to have room for improvement in productivity, with only 17% of Brits being engaged at work, while 57% are not engaged and 26% are actively disengaged.

Gallup concluded that increasing workplace engagement was vital for the growth of countries and the economy.

"People spend a substantial part of their lives working, whether in a high-tech startup in Singapore, a financial institution in Australia, or a garment factory in the Dominican Republic. As a result, the quality of their workplace experience is inevitably reflected in the quality of their lives," it said.

"Gallup's finding that the vast majority of employees worldwide report an overall negative experience at work - and just one in eight are fully involved in and enthusiastic about their jobs - is important when considering why the global recovery remains sluggish, while social unrest abounds in many countries.

"Business leaders worldwide must raise the bar on employee engagement. Increasing workplace engagement is vital to achieving sustainable growth for companies, communities, and countries - and for putting the global economy back on track to a more prosperous and peaceful future."