The latest Gallup report “State of the Global Workplace: 2022” reports workplace stress to be at an all time high. The survey reports that 60% of employees are emotionally detached at work.
This is voice of the employees – worldwide. And the statistics are alarming by all standards.
Not surprising though. We live in a connected, social world and everything that happens within the workplace, locally and globally leaves behind footprints.
Early signs of a recession, the Covid-19 waves, the great resignation, hiring freeze by major corporations globally, mass layoffs across industries and several other local and global factors are adding to the negative emotions.
“Will I be next?”, “Can I survive another slowdown?”, or “What if I get fired?” etc. could be some of the many worrying questions the workforce has to face every day.
The latest report from Gallup traces the impact of these footprints.
Detached at work? Some key statistics from the report:
- 60% of people reported to be emotionally detached at work while another 19% are actively disengaged
- Only about 21% of all surveyed employees reported being engaged at work
- 44% of employees experienced a lot of daily stress. Working women in the US and Canada were among the most stressed employees globally
- There was a marginal decline in daily negative emotions level, but still above the pre pandemic levels (Daily Worry – 40%, Daily Stress – 44%, Daily Anger – 21%, Daily Sadness – 23%)
Any Silver Lining?
Let’s focus on the good part in our quest to enhance workplace happiness.
33% of surveyed employees said “they are thriving in their overall wellbeing”. That’s one-third of the workforce.
Of these 33%, close to 95% report being treated with respect all day and 87% report smiling and laughing a lot.
So, key takeaway from the report to make employees feel “they are thriving in their overall wellbeing”.
- Treat them with respect
- Give them reasons to smile and laugh, more often
Simple instructions, however they often get sidelined in our KPI driven work culture. As a leader, manager, supervisor – keep the spotlight “always on” on these two contributing factors to employee wellness and happiness.
Happy employees are productive employees.
All you need is intent to treat people with respect. People follow leaders. So lead from the front. From the president to the peon – you are dealing with humans. Don’t mock, don’t humiliate, don’t get personal.
How can you make them smile and laugh more?
- Add elements of humor to your work: formal email notices can be more colorful and creative. Workplace posters can add some fun element. Remember those funny “loo etiquettes” posters while you take a dump?
- Add some playfulness to work. It helps break monotony at break. Here’s a link to my article on how to add some “play at work”
- Greet people with a smile and use their names. “Good morning Swati!” with a smile is 100X more effective to a more mundane “Good morning”. We all love our names. Give people what they love. Marketers have used personalization to a great effect in increasing sales and revenue. Use personalization to make employees feel valued for who they are
There are reasons to smile in everything we do at work. Drive the change and see the change.