Europe has lowest employee engagement worldwide, report says

Europe has lowest employee engagement worldwide, report says

Only 13% of employees in the European region were engaged in their role, representing the worst employee engagement worldwide.

According to a new report, while 72% of European employees were found to be lacking engagement, a further 16% were actively disengaged. Half (49%) considered themselves to be struggling in life, while 4% said they were suffering. The remaining 47% said they were thriving.

When asked which negative emotions they had experienced the previous day, 37% said they had felt stressed. Sadness (17%), anger (14%) and loneliness (14%) were also common emotions.

While 57% of Europeans said now was a good time to find a job, 32% wanted to leave their roles.

One respondent, a mortgage adviser from the UK, said: ‘There are times when you come home, and you’re very, very stressed. Very, very wound up, and I
think, just the longer you stay in it, the more used to it you get.’

Global employee engagement ranking

The data was collected by research firm Gallup through the Gallup World Poll. Between 2009 and 2023, more than two million employees worldwide were surveyed on their attitudes to employment. The findings were published in the State of the Global Workplace: 2024 Report.

The report ranks global employee engagement by region, with the United States and Canada taking the top spot. The rankings are as follows:

RankingRegionEmployee engagement
1United States and Canada33%
2Latin America and the Caribbean32%
3South Asia26%
4Southeast Asia26%
5Australia and New Zealand25%
6Post-Soviet Eurasia24%
7Sub-Saharan Africa20%
8East Asia18%
9Middle East and North Africa14%

While the US and Canada scored highly for engagement, half (49%) of the respondents also reported experiencing daily stress.

One participant from the USA said: ‘Everyone’s very, very disposable, and there’s very little loyalty from employers. They want you to give your blood, your life to them, but it’s very easy for them to lay you off [and] reconstruct their companies.’

Employee mental health

A key issue addressed in the survey is the mental health of employees. Testimonials from respondents discuss the impact that the workplace can have on mental wellbeing.

A content management director from Japan said: ‘You may think work and life outside of work may be separated, but I disagree. These are the same, concurring at the same time.’

A non-profit director from the USA added: ‘I don’t want to get up and do anything the next day. I think about calling in sick, so I don’t have to deal with the fires.’

Gallup estimates that low employee engagement costs the global economy $8.9 trillion, or 9% of global GDP. Gallup CEO Jon Clifton said: ‘The global deterioration of mental health is concerning. Some worry we’re spiralling out of control.’

He continued: ‘The global workplace can play a significant role in addressing the world’s mental health crisis. As detailed in this year’s report, changing how we manage people is critical for reducing stress at work and in life.’

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