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CEOWORLD magazine - Latest - CEO Advisory - Good News & Bad News: Navigating the Challenges of Employee Engagement

CEO Advisory

Good News & Bad News: Navigating the Challenges of Employee Engagement

Joseph A. Michelli

More Engaged, More Quietly Quitting

When it comes to global employee engagement, the opening lines of Charles Dickens, Tale of Two Cities apply: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity…

According to Gallup’s “State of the Global Workplace Report 2023,” Twenty-three percent of the world’s employees reported they were engaged in their work. This is the highest percentage since Gallup started measuring employee engagement in 2009. That represents the “best of times” part of the employee engagement picture.

Despite that positive result, however, the Gallup report also highlights “worst of times” components such as 51% of employees watching for or actively seeking another job and high levels of “quiet and loud” quitting, resulting in estimated global GDP losses of 9% or approximately $8.8 trillion in revenue.

Employee stress is also at record-high levels, with 44% of employees reporting they’ve dealt with high levels of workplace stress.

What to Do Based on This Research

Given Gallup’s findings, what should we do to maximize employee engagement and retain employees? Jon Clifton, Gallup’s CEO, has these recommendations:

1) Focus on your most winnable employees. Nearly six in 10 employees are quietly quitting, but they are likely to become engaged with a few changes to their workplace.

2) Give them a better manager. In the past three years, Gallup has used our best science to train over 14,000 managers to be effective coaches.

Here are some additional takeaways I gleaned from the annual Gallup study:

  1. Mitigate Unnecessary Stress. Some workplace stress is inevitable. However, employee engagement increases in environments where managers continually look for ways to remove unnecessary team stress.
  2. Focus on Employee Autonomy, Mastery, and Purpose. When employees feel they are trusted, empowered, and doing purposeful work, it takes a significant salary increase (roughly 31%) to consider employment elsewhere.
  3. Maintain Investments in Management and Leadership Training. The Gallup study states, “Seventy percent of team engagement is attributable to the manager. But many or most of your managers are quiet quitting too. They are waiting for the tools to build great teams. The good news is that cutting-edge, science-based management can be taught.”

In these “best of times/worst of times” for employee engagement history, Marilyn Carlson’s guidance is particularly relevant: High-performing companies should be striving to create a great place for great people to do great work.


Written by Joseph A. Michelli.
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CEOWORLD magazine - Latest - CEO Advisory - Good News & Bad News: Navigating the Challenges of Employee Engagement
Joseph Michelli, Ph.D.
Joseph Michelli, Ph.D., is an internationally sought-after speaker, author, and organizational consultant who transfers his knowledge of exceptional business practices in ways that develop joyful and productive workplaces with a focus on customer experience.


Joseph Michelli, Ph.D., is an opinion columnist and Executive Council member at the CEOWORLD magazine. You can follow him on LinkedIn, for more information, visit the author’s website CLICK HERE.