Life Satisfaction Falls in Europe While Employee Engagement Stagnates at Record Low Levels, New Gallup Report

  • Europe continues to perform poorly on employee engagement while job climate improves

  • Finland leads on life satisfaction, but Europe falls behind Australasia and North America

  • Levels of stress and worry remain high, while Europeans report more sadness and anger

Gallup’s latest State of the Global Workplace Report, published, reveals that people’s perceived life quality has fallen in Europe over the last year. Less than half (47 per cent) of Europeans say they live well now, a decline of five percentage points. This decline in Europe extends the gap with North America, where 60 per cent of people feel they are thriving, and Australasia – which leads the world with 63 per cent.

Gallup’s report reveals falling perceptions of life quality across most major European nations, a factor it believes could further damage already low levels of employee engagement. There is now a distinct North / South divide in life satisfaction, with Finland (84 per cent), Denmark (78 per cent) and Iceland (77 per cent) recording the highest proportions of people who feel they are living their best possible lives. Levels in North Macedonia (28 per cent), Bulgaria (27 per cent) and Northern Cyprus (18 per cent) were lower than the global average (33 per cent).

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“Falling perceptions of life quality are a significant concern for employers. Negative sentiments can create a downward spiral that hurts employee engagement, productivity, profitability and the quality of customer relationships,” said Pa Sinyan, Gallup’s Managing Partner for EMEA.

Europe continues to perform poorly on employee engagement, a measure Gallup has found to correlate strongly with organisational success. Just 14 per cent of Europeans now feel enthused by their work and workplace, compared to 33 per cent in North America, and 27 per cent in South Asia. Engagement levels were below ten per cent in the UK, SpainFrance and Italy.

Employee perceptions of the job climate have improved significantly across Europe. 44 per cent of Europeans feel that now is an excellent time to find a job, an increase of 16 percentage points over the last year, driven by growing confidence in France and several smaller economies. The overall increase masks declining job market confidence in several major European economies, including Germany, the UK and Spain.

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The number of Europeans experiencing elevated levels of stress and worry, which increased significantly during the pandemic, remains high. More than a third of people in Europe (39 per cent) frequently feel stressed now, and a similar proportion (37 per cent) experience high levels of worry. Gallup’s research reveals that other negative emotions are also increasing, with a fifth of Europeans reporting feeling sad (21 per cent) or angry (19 per cent) for a lot of the day.

“Leaders can improve employee engagement and wellbeing by enabling front-line managers to understand their people better, including how they feel about life outside of work, and helping them focus on what they do best in the work environment,”

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