North American workers report highest engagement levels in the world 

North American workers report highest engagement levels in the world 

Gallup’s latest  State of the Global Workplace Report finds that, despite more than two years of the pandemic, US and Canadian workers seemed to rebound in 2021. Employees reported higher life evaluations than the previous year and declines across several negative emotions. In 2021, 33% of US and Canadian employees were engaged at work and 60% were thriving in their well-being, compared to the rest of the world where 21% were engaged and 33% were thriving. 

Gallup research has consistently found that employee engagement is a significant driver of organisational success. Businesses and organisations with high employee engagement achieve higher productivity, better customer relationships, lower turnover and higher profitability. 

Globally, employee engagement and well-being remain very low and it is holding back enormous growth potential. Gallup estimates that low employee engagement costs the global economy US$7.8 trillion. 

The pandemic years have been marked by a global stagnation in engagement; however, the US and Canada region remain the most engaged in the world, while Europe and MENA have the lowest engagement. Remarkably, South Asia saw the strongest growth in engagement – an increase of 9% – even as the region saw declines across other measures. 

The job market also seems to have recovered. Just under half of the currently employed employees (45%) globally said now is a good time to find a job, up slightly from last year but less than the record 55% in 2019. Global job opportunities had been rising steadily in the decade before the pandemic. 

“While, as a region, the US and Canada have significantly more engaged and thriving employees in comparison with the global workforce, the US and Canadian employees report higher daily worry and stress than is the case globally,” said Jim Harter, Gallup’s Chief Workplace Scientist. “The US and Canada also have some significant differences between them. Employees in the US report a higher percentage of engaged employees and Canadian employees, while less engaged, are more likely to be thriving in their overall lives. Engagement at work and overall wellbeing are both important to reduce the chance of burnout.”  

Global employee stress reached another all-time high in 2021 at 44%, driven mostly by increased stress in South Asia and East Asia. Like daily worry, stress has been rising for employees for a decade, with a notable increase during the pandemic. The most stressed regions of the world include East Asia (55%), Latin America (50%) and the US and Canada (50%). 

Generally, employed women and employees under 40 report higher levels of stress. Working women in Latin America and the US report some of the highest levels of stress in the world — 60% in Latin America and 54% in the US and Canada. 

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