Can you honestly say that you are happy at work? If you answered Yes to that question, then congratulations, you belong to a small segment of gainfully employed individuals fully committed to their roles at work.
A new study released by Gallup on the State of the Global Workplace found that just one in eight workers worldwide – or 13 per cent – feels "engaged," meaning they feel passionate about their role and maintain a profound connection to their employer.
A whopping 63 per cent said that they were "not engaged" with their jobs. These employees are essentially sleepwalking through their day, just putting in their time.
The remaining 24 per cent admitted to being "actively disengaged." This lot not only is unhappy at work, they undermine the efforts of their engaged colleagues by spreading their negative energy to others in the organization.
The data from the survey, which polled more than 220,000 respondents in 142 countries, found that the happiest workers were mostly in the United States and Canada, where 29 per cent of the work force felt engaged. The unhappiest workers were found in the Middle East and North Africa, where 35 per cent felt "actively disengaged."
The 13 per cent of engaged employees in 2011-12 shows a slight improvement from Gallup's study in 2009-2010, which showed 11 per cent of global employees felt committed to their workplaces. However, the non-engaged group also grew by 1 per cent in that time frame.
Despite general worker dissatisfaction, there's good reason to worry about these continuously poor engagement rates. Gallup ties engagement rates to with specific performance outcomes, including profitability, productivity, turnover, safety, theft, absenteeism and quality of work. Companies with engaged workforces had higher earnings per share (EPS) and recovered from the recession at a faster rate, according to Gallup.
"Business leaders worldwide must raise the bar on employee engagement," Gallup's Steve Crabtree wrote. "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."
So how engaged are you as an employee? See how you would you answer Gallup's 12 questions:
1. I know what is expected of me at work.
2. I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right.
3. At work, I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day.
4. In the last seven days, I have received recognition or praise for doing good work.
5. My supervisor, or someone at work, seems to care about me as a person.
6. There is someone at work who encourages my development.
7. At work, my opinions seem to count.
8. The mission or purpose of my company makes me feel my job is important.
9. My associates or fellow employees are committed to doing quality work.
10. I have a best friend at work.
11. In the last six months, someone at work has talked to me about my progress.
12. This last year, I have had opportunities at work to learn and grow.