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Employee Engagement

Breakthrough Leadership: Unleashing Employee Engagement for Performance and Wellbeing

I am thrilled to present the latest edition of "Breakthrough Leadership," your go-to bi-weekly newsletter for exploring revolutionary concepts in leadership that can enhance both performance and wellbeing. In this edition, we deep dive into the realm of employee engagement and the profound impact it can have on organisation's success.


1. Employee Engagement: A Real-Time Approach

Measuring employee engagement is a top priority for organizations worldwide, but the traditional annual survey falls short. The issues identified often persist, leaving employees feeling unheard. Instead, consider adopting real-time tools that monitor your employees' mood and provide dynamic insights. By doing so, you gain the ability to be responsive and take immediate action when needed.


2. Why Does Engagement Matter?

According to Gallup's "State of the Global Workplace 2023" report, disengaged employees cost the global economy a staggering 9% of GDP, amounting to a mind-boggling US$8.8 trillion. Your organisation's leadership and management directly influence the level of engagement across your workforce.

Poor leadership can lead to customer loss, reduced profits, and employee turnover. Therefore, understanding how to retain and attract top talent, motivate teams, and support them reaching their full potential is crucial.


3. Engagement and Impact: Unveiling the Numbers

The impact of effective people management is profound, not only for business performance but also for the wellbeing of your teams and society at large. Gallup's 2023 report indicates that 23% of employees are engaged and thriving at work—a significant increase of approximately 10% compared to a decade ago.


Employee engagement is at 23% globally with Europe lower at 13%


Surprisingly, Europe exhibits the lowest levels of employee engagement, with only 13% of employees actively engaged in their organizations. Imagine the repercussions this has on service delivery and the sustainability of your company.



4. Psychological Disengagement: A Silent Crisis

The majority of employees (around 60%) are psychologically disengaged from their work. They may physically show up, but their lack of clarity and purpose is evident. Moreover, they often lack a support network at work, which significantly affects both their wellbeing and performance.

Imagine if 60% of your workforce didn't comprehend the importance of their roles and felt unsupported by their managers and colleagues. The impact on your business and its culture would be substantial.


23% are engaged and thriving; 59% are not engaged (quiet quitting); & 18% are actively disengaged (loud quitting)


5. Wellbeing and Stress: A Crucial Intersection

To cultivate a thriving business in the long term, the wellbeing of your employees and leaders is of paramount importance. While many leaders claim to prioritize wellbeing, the latest Gallup report reveals that 44% of employees experience high levels of stress, an upward trend over the past decade.


Stress has been rising for the past 10 years

The ability of your leaders to manage workloads, provide clarity, purpose, and support significantly contributes to the stress levels within your teams. Additionally, leaders themselves require support to avoid burnout, necessitating attention from both the executive team and their peers.


6. Addressing Employee Fears and Expectations

Understanding the fears and anxieties experienced by employees is a vital starting point for combating stress and burnout. The 2023 Edelman Trust Barometer report suggests that personal fears, such as job loss and inflation, are on par with wider societal fears like climate change and energy shortages.


Personal fears are on a par with wider societal fears

Consequently, employees expect CEOs and leaders to take a public stance and action on critical issues, including the treatment of employees, climate change, and discrimination.


Employees expect CEOs to support treatment of employees and take action on climate change & discrimination


7. The Quest for a New Job: Retention Challenges

Gallup's 2023 workplace report reveals that 51% of employees are either actively seeking or keeping an eye out for new job opportunities to improve their pay, wellbeing, or growth prospects. Just imagine if half of your workforce was potentially seeking new employment.

The resulting impact and the steps you can take to retain them should not be overlooked. While economic factors play a role, employees also seek better wellbeing and developmental opportunities.


Edelman Trust Barometer 2022 - Reasons for leaving a job


8. Building a Great Place to Work: Employee Desires

The 2022 Edelman report emphasizes what employees truly desire from their jobs. Career advancement, personal empowerment, and the ability to make societal impact rank highly among their expectations. When employees contemplate leaving their current jobs, factors such as work-life balance, compensation, and values alignment heavily influence their decisions. To create an exceptional workplace, organisations must focus on recognition, learning opportunities, fair treatment, clear goals, and effective management.


Edelman Trust Barometer 2022 - Deal Breakers when considering a job


9. Engagement and Work Location: A Balanced Perspective

Gallup's 2023 report reveals that employee engagement has nearly four times more impact on stress levels than work location. While heated discussions around office presence, remote work, and hybrid policies continue, it is crucial to recognise that how employees feel about their jobs and their relationships with their teams and managers hold more weight. Cultivate a hybrid work culture that promotes collaboration, bonding, challenges, celebrations, and support, regardless of physical location.


Gallup State of Global Workplace Report 2023 - What needs to change to make the workplace better.


10. Striving for Best Practice: Bridging the Gap

Organizations that exemplify best practices in employee engagement score significantly higher (72) compared to the global average (23) or the European average (13). This highlights the tremendous potential that lies in investing more effort into engagement, culture, and employee wellbeing. By doing so, stress levels can decrease, motivation can soar, and employees are more likely to grow and thrive within your organization.


Gallup State of Global Workplace Report 2023 - Best Practice vs Ave. Performance


11. Let's Ignite a Transformation Together!

If you are seeking ways to boost employee engagement, enhance employee wellbeing, and develop a sustainable high-performance culture within your organisation, I invite you to get in touch.

Email me at mark@headsupandfreer.com, and let's embark on an exciting journey of breakthrough leadership.


Reference Reports:


  1. Gallup: State of the Global Workplace – 2023 Report (122,000 employees across 160 countries)

  2. Edelman: 2022 Trust Barometer report; 2022 Trust In Tech Report. 2023 Edelman Trust Barometer (32,000 respondents across 28 countries)


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