Gallup Survey Shows Quiet Quitting is Real and Stress is Taking its Toll

An annual report that claims to represent the collective voice of the global employee reveals contradictory results – the majority of workers are stressed, looking for work or limiting themselves to the minimum requirements, while engagement is nevertheless up.

The Gallup study, “State of the Global Workplace,” explains that more workers felt rewarded at work and connected to their teams – at 23% – following a dramatic drop during the pandemic. At the same time, 18% are actively disengaged and the rest are “quiet quitting,” which Gallup defines as a psychological disconnect with their work as they don’t see the ‘why’ of their jobs and lack strong bonds in the workplace.

Engagement is highest in the U.S. and Canada at 31%, but 52% of workers reported a lot of stress for most of the day before they took the survey. In contrast, only 13% of Europeans are engaged but reported stress is lower, at 39%.

Combined, the quiet quitters and actively disengaged cost the global GDP $8.8 trillion, or 9%. Gallup has surveyed 2.2 million employees since 2009, about 160,000 per year.

Other findings from the survey:

  • Employee stress is rising – Stress levels are hitting employees hard at 44% globally, a number that has been increasing for a decade. Higher stress levels are reported from young employees and those working in 100% remote or hybrid work locations.
  • Surplus of job opportunities in 2022 – This finding means it’s a good time to look for new work and employers must do more to keep employees happy and rewarded.
  • More than half of employees actively or passively looking for new jobs – Gallup says 51% of workers said they are seeking a new job, or at least watching for opportunities, mainly for better pay, but better wellbeing and more growth opportunities are top priorities as well.
  • Engagement matters – Both working remotely and on-site have their pros and cons, but more important than the location of work is how connected employees feel to their supervisor and coworkers. It’s 3.8 times more important, the survey shows.
  • Quiet quitters would make changes – A full 85% cited more recognition, opportunities to learn, fair treatment, clearer goals and better managers.

“Consider the level of engagement among the world’s best-run organizations (72%) and what it could mean for organizations and society if their organizational practices were widespread: record high productivity, customer retention and growth, better employee retention, and significantly reduced stress,” the report says.

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