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Workplace blues

3 February, 2023

With large numbers of the workforce on strike, it’s clear that relationships between employees and employers have reached rock bottom in many sectors, both public and in some cases private too.  

So perhaps it is unsurprising that Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace 2022 report shows that almost half of the employees in the world are not happy at work. Globally, 44% of employees reported experiencing a lot of stress each day. And in the UK, only 9% of employees feel engaged at work.  

To state what should be obvious, it pays to take employee happiness and wellbeing seriously. Studies show that businesses with engaged workers have 23% higher profits compared with businesses with miserable workers. And to our minds, this is an area of sustainability that needs to be addressed with more thoughtfulness, as well as more urgency. 

Employee wellbeing is often – though not always – codified in a company’s ESG strategy. But the metrics tend to be reductive, focusing on things like pay gaps and reporting on demographics, training and benefits. These are essential and need to be managed well, but what about other indicators, such as employees’ level of stress, engagement, social connections? And – why not – their happiness? Most standardised employee satisfaction surveys do not track these areas of life, but there is no reason why they couldn’t evolve too, and the very process of doing so would make them more meaningful. 

As the Gallup report says, “Improving life at work isn’t rocket science, but the world is closer to colonizing Mars than it is to fixing the world’s broken places.” If you need support on this earthly journey, we are one email away. 

By Flora Gicquel

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