11% of UK employees have low engagement levels

Engagement and feedback: Employee engagement measures in numbers

The UK and western Europe have the lowest employee engagement levels across the globe at just 11%, according to new research.

Analytics and advisory organisation Gallup’s State of the global workplace report found that 55% staff in the UK and western Europe regions have high life evaluations, with western European employees seeing a decline in stress and anger, no change in sadness and an increase of only three points for worry.

Globally, employee engagement levels decreased by two percentage points from 2019 to 2020, with the research estimating that low engagement cost the global economy $8.1 trillion (£5.6 trillion). Conversely, eastern Europe’s levels rose seven percentage points from 2019 to 2020, the largest regional increase in the world.

The research highlighted that 13% of western European working women were more engaged than 10% of working men, while 41% of employees in the region reported lower daily stress in 2020 than 47% in 2019.

The global workforce reported higher levels of worry, stress, anger and sadness in 2020 than in 2019, with daily worry in eastern Europe increasing by 12 percentage points and the percentage of younger employees in the region experiencing daily anger doubling from 2019 to 2020. Emotions such as worry, stress, sadness and anger were lower in the UK and Germany than in Italy, Spain and France.

Pa Sinyan, managing partner for Gallup Europe, explained that the relationship between work and life has taken on new meaning over the past year.

“Global worry, stress, sadness and anger have been trending up the past decade. Even before the pandemic, the new workforce was asking for a workplace that would improve their overall life and support their wellbeing. Organisations are in a unique position to improve lives and performance simultaneously,” he said.