"You can only know where you're going if you know where you've been." - James Burke
In 1973, James Burke, a broadcaster and science historian, predicted the widespread use of computers for making business decisions and exchanging ideas instantly. His quote has become an adage that applies to us all: to make quality, impactful decisions, we must analyze the past and learn from the present to create the future we desire.
The Gallup State of the Global Workplace: 2022 Report represents the voices of people worldwide, revealing what's happening in our workplaces and how organizations and their leaders can prepare for the future of work.
Key findings from the State of the Global Workplace: 2022 Report
- Low engagement. Only 9% of employees reported feeling engaged and thriving at work, whereas 57% described NOT feeling engaged and thriving. Gallup estimates that low engagement impacts business performance and costs the global economy 7.8 trillion.
- Stress is at a new all-time high. Although the job market in the U.S. has recovered remarkably since the pandemic, stress among workers escalated to a new all-time high with nearly half of employees experiencing daily higher levels of stress, sadness, and anger. These negative emotions carry into employees' working lives and impact the work they do. Leaders should pay special attention.
- Manager support for engagement and well-being is more critical than ever before. Before the pandemic, engagement and well-being metrics were steadily rising, but since have all but remained the same. The pandemic halted the continuous improvement in the right direction, and now managers must foster environments in which employees feel empowered and connected.
The Importance of a Thriving Employee Culture
Gallup defines employees thriving as "how they feel today and expect the next five years will go." This "hope for the future" is vital for employees' quality of life and mirrors how they will show up AT work.
Gallup research reveals that:
- Data showed that only 33% of employees in the United States were engaged, which was consistent across gender and age demographics.
- Businesses with engaged workers have 23% higher profits compared with those with miserable workers.
- Engaged and thriving employees experience fewer negative emotions like stress, anger, and health-related problems.
This isn't earth-shattering news: when people enjoy their work, they are more innovative and productive. So, as CEO World so aptly points out, "If we want more innovation and productivity to fuel acceleration, we need more workers' enjoyment and creativity." However, Harvard Business Review points out, "Employee well-being is an area all companies can grow."
With most employees feeling stressed at work and compounded by the fact that most workers under 40 would consider moving for a job opportunity, organizations can use employee wellbeing as a recruiting tool and a differentiator. Simply put, thriving employees result in higher employee engagement, customer satisfaction, and productivity and lower burnout and turnover.
Creating Workplaces Employees Want
Simply put, managers are the key to people thriving at work, and the office is a tool for creating thriving cultures that develop employees’ potential.
As Labor Day marks the beginning for many employees to return to the office (RTO), leaders must remember to focus on developing a healthy, productive, and meaningful work environment best suited for their employees. And, like Burke points out, we should use data to inform us in creating the spaces and strategies to transform our workplaces of the future, rather than how we’ve always done it.
So, wherever you are in your hybrid workplace journey, we'd love to help you build it.