A Gallup poll says that only 10 percent of Botswana’s employees are “engaged” at work while 52 percent are “not engaged” and 38 percent “actively disengaged.” Engaged employees are more likely to be “thriving” ÔÇö that is, to rate their overall lives highly on a zero-to-10 scale ÔÇö than those who are not engaged or actively disengaged. Sixteen percent of Botswana employees are thriving, 77 percent are struggling and 7 percent are suffering.
Worldwide in 2012, 31 percent of employees rated their lives highly enough to be considered thriving, while the majority, 59 percent, were struggling and 10 percent were suffering Inadequately engaged are especially bad for these times employees because, as Gallup’s latest State of the Global Workplace: Employee Engagement Insights for Business Leaders Worldwide report says, “workplace engagement is vital to achieving sustainable growth for companies, communities, and countries ÔÇö and for putting the global economy back on track.” The report describes an engaged employee as one who works with passion and feels a profound connection to his or her company.
“They cooperate to build an organisation, institution, or agency, and they are behind everything good that happens there. These employees are involved in, enthusiastic about, and committed to their work. They know the scope of their jobs and look for new and better ways to achieve outcomes. They are 100 percent psychologically committed to their work,” the report says. Engaged workers are more likely to be thriving and Latin America has the highest percentage (55 percent) of thriving employees in any developing region. The “not engaged” employees are “sleepwalking through their workday, putting time ÔÇö but not energy or passion ÔÇö into their work” while “actively disengaged” ones “aren’t just unhappy at work; they’re busy acting out their unhappiness. Every day, these workers undermine what their engaged co-workers accomplish.” The latter are hell-bent on damaging companies they work for: “They monopolise managers’ time; have more on-the-job accidents; account for more quality defects; contribute to “shrinkage,” as theft is called; are sicker; miss more days; and quit at a higher rate than engaged employees do. Whatever the engaged do ÔÇö such as solving problems, innovating, and creating new customers ÔÇö the actively disengaged try to undo.
The report says that worldwide, the proportion of engaged employees has ticked upward from 11 percent to 13 percent, while the proportion of those who are “actively disengaged” has fallen slightly from 27 percent to 24 percent. In the 26 African countries that were surveyed, actively disengaged employees outnumber engaged employees by nearly 3-to-1. This happens at a time that the Africa – at least according to a 2013 report by the African Development Bank – is experiencing is experiencing faster economic growth than any other continent. Active disengagement is an immense drain on economies and Gallup estimates that for the United States, active disengagement costs US$450 billion to $550 billion per year. The highest levels of active disengagement in the world are in the Middle East and North Africa region, particularly in Tunisia (54 percent), Algeria (53 percent), and Syria (45 percent). The report attributes this to the region’s high unemployment rates which cause many disengaged workers to remain in their jobs despite their unhappiness at work.
South Africa has one of the highest percentages of actively disengaged employees in the world. Gallup puts the world’s GDP at US$60 trillion, and projects that the figure will grow to US$200 trillion in the next 30 years. “Simply put, the global economy will have US$140 trillion worth of new customers. Competing for those customers will be the “World Cup” for world economic dominance.
The winners will enjoy thriving economies and workplaces. The losers will face unrest and revolution. Countries that double the number of engaged employees in every company will be best positioned to win the lion’s share of the US$140 trillion in new customers,” says the report, adding that when organisations successfully engage their customers and their employees, “they experience a 240 performance boost in performance-related business outcomes compared with an organisation with neither engaged employees nor engaged customers.” The report highlights findings from Gallup’s ongoing study of workplaces in more than 140 countries from 2011 to 2012.