Global Employee Engagement Benchmark Study

Marcus Erb

Author

CATEGORIES

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The current state of employee engagement worldwide

Great workplaces are in short supply across the globe. According to our new study at Great Place to Work®, employees worldwide persistently experience a lack of trust, purpose and connection at work.

“These experiences are sadly familiar to many employees,” says Michael C. Bush, CEO of Great Place to Work. “Moreover, they’re hurting companies’ agility, innovation and performance.”

Methodology

Our 2021 Global Employee Engagement Benchmark study reveals the state of workplaces worldwide. Conducted in the summer of 2021, the study surveyed over 14,000 workers across 37 countries to determine the average employee experience around the world. 

Employees rated their workplace against 17 statements in Great Place to Work’s  Trust Index™ survey. The statements measure factors that contribute to a positive employee experience, such as a sense of purpose, innovation opportunities, psychological safety, perceptions of leaders and fairness. 

Employee engagement index in 37 countries

Our study finds that only about half of employees worldwide are experiencing a great workplace. There is little variation across regions. In the highest scoring region, Latin America, just 60% of employees report a positive employee experience. In the lowest scoring region, Europe, only 52% of employees report a positive employee experience. 

Few differences emerged across industries, except in hospitality, where the overall average employee experience sits at a low of 49%. All other industries included in our study averaged between 54% and 60%. 

4 key employee experiences are holding companies back

Why are great workplaces so rare? The study reveals four challenges common to most workplaces today:

1. Equity

More than half of workers feel pay and promotions are handled unfairly.

2. Meaningful connections

A significant portion of workers report a pervasive lack of personal connection and psychological safety:

○  43% believe their coworkers don’t care for each other 

○  35% say they don’t feel they can be themselves at work 

○  45% say their workplaces are not psychologically and emotionally healthy 

3. Purpose

A large percentage of respondents also said their work lacked meaning or failed to make a difference, a clear signal that employees still struggle to experience purpose in their work.  

4. Leadership

Finally, nearly half of all employees reported weak or poor relationships with their leaders with roughly half indicating their leaders do not: 

•  Care for them as people 

•  Involve them in decisions 

•  Match their actions to their words 

These challenges mean that the average company is missing out on the full potential of their employees.  

At average workplaces around the globe, a poor employee experience undermines companies’ ability to take advantage of new market opportunities and outpace their competitors.  

The high cost of poor employee engagement

Most workplaces will struggle to keep their talent, with nearly half of employees saying they do not intend to stay with their employer. Companies also face a challenge in attracting new talent, as nearly half of employees are unwilling to recommend their employer. Among those employees that stay, two out of five indicate negative experiences at work hinder their ability contribute to innovation.  

While great workplaces are rare, the World’s Best Workplaces™ show their possibility and potential. Employees at these globally great workplaces report consistently positive experiences of leadership, purpose in their work, and meaningful connections with their colleagues. 

As a result, these workplaces enjoy: 

•  52% higher levels of intent to stay  

•  65% more employees willing to recommend their employer to others 

It’s an understatement to say the last year has been an incredible challenge for people inside and outside of work,” says Bush. The World’s Best Workplaces show the power companies have to positively impact their employees’ lives, no matter where they work, who they are or what challenges face us as a global community.” 

Want to run your own employee survey?

Get in touch with Great Place to Work to survey your employees, benchmark your company culture and improve your employee experience. With our Trust Index survey you can measure your workplace against industry leaders like the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For®. 

Marcus Erb

Author

Great Place To Work identifies Best Workplaces™ in Asia by surveying over 1 million employees in Asia and the Middle East about the key factors that create great workplaces for all and analyzing company workplace programs impacting over 4.7 million employees in the region.

To be considered, companies must first be identified as outstanding in their local region by appearing on one or more of our Best Workplaces lists in Greater China (including China, Hong Kong and Taiwan), India, Indonesia, Japan, Kuwait, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, UAE, Vietnam during 2021 or early 2022.

Companies rank in three size categories: Small and Medium (10-499 employees); Large (500+); and Multinational. Multinational organizations are also assessed on their efforts to create great workplaces across multiple countries in the region. They must appear on at least two national lists in Asia and the Middle East and have at least 1,000 employees worldwide with at least 40% (or 5,000) of those employees located outside the headquarters country.

Great Place To Work identifies Best Workplaces in Asia™ by surveying 2.1 million employees in Asia and the Middle East about the key factors that create great workplaces for all and analyzing company workplace programs impacting 5.9 million employees in the region.

To be considered, companies must first be identified as outstanding in their local region by appearing on one or more of our Best Workplaces lists in Bahrain, Greater China (including China, Hong Kong and Taiwan), India, Indonesia, Japan, Kuwait, Oman, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, UAE, Vietnam during 2022 or early 2023.

Companies rank in three size categories: Small and Medium (10-499 employees); Large (500+); and Multinational. Multinational organizations are also assessed on their efforts to create great workplaces across multiple countries in the region. They must appear on at least two national lists in Asia and the Middle East and have at least 1,000 employees worldwide with at least 40% (or 5,000+) of those employees located outside the headquarters country.

For All™ Methodology

Great Place To Work, the global authority on workplace culture, determined the Philippines Best Workplaces™ 2023 List by conducting annual workforce studies through our Trust Index Survey™ and Culture Management platform Emprising®, representing the voices of over 450,000 employees across the Philippines.

Employees responded to over 60 survey questions describing the extent to which their organization creates a great place to work For All™, meaning that the company empowers all individuals to reach their full human potential. Eighty-five percent of the evaluation is based on what employees report about their experiences of trust and reaching their full human potential as part of their organization, no matter who they are or what they do. We analyze these experiences relative to each organization’s size, workforce makeup, and what’s typical in their industry and region. The remainder of the evaluation is an assessment of all employees’ daily experiences of the company’s values, people’s ability to contribute new ideas, and the effectiveness of their leaders to ensure they’re consistently experienced.

To ensure surveys truly represent all employees, we require enough people in each organization to respond that results are accurate to a 95% confidence level and 5% margin of error or better. We review any anomalies in survey responses, news, and financial performance to ensure there aren’t any extraordinary reasons to believe we couldn’t trust a company’s survey results.

For All™ Methodology

Great Place to Work, the global authority on workplace culture, determined the Philippines Best Workplaces™ 2022 List by conducting annual workforce studies through our Trust Index Survey™ and Culture Management platform Emprising®, representing the voices of over 130,000 employees across the Philippines.

Employees responded to over 60 survey questions describing the extent to which their organization creates a great place to work For All™, meaning that the company empowers all individuals to reach their full human potential. Eighty-five percent of the evaluation is based on what employees report about their experiences of trust and reaching their full human potential as part of their organization, no matter who they are or what they do. We analyze these experiences relative to each organization’s size, workforce makeup, and what’s typical in their industry and region. The remainder of the evaluation is an assessment of all employees’ daily experiences of the company’s values, people’s ability to contribute new ideas, and the effectiveness of their leaders to ensure they’re consistently experienced.

To ensure surveys truly represent all employees, we require enough people in each organization to respond that results are accurate to a 95% confidence level and 5% margin of error or better. We review any anomalies in survey responses, news, and financial performance to ensure there aren’t any extraordinary reasons to believe we couldn’t trust a company’s survey results.

Categories:
These organizations’ assessment is based 100% on employee responses to the Trust Index survey.

  • Small 10-99 Employees

For larger organizations with more than 100 employees, we also use our Culture Audit™ tool, asking organizations to share with us their practices, policies, and programs to create a great workplace For All™ and evaluate the approach they take.

  • Medium 100-999 Employees
  • Large 1000+ Employees

Why do you say in one place your national list scoring is based on 85%/15% and in another place that it is 75%/25%?

We are explaining two different things:
1.  The criteria we evaluate

  •  85% concerned with Trust and Maximizing Human Potential and
  • 15% concerned with everything else

2.  Where the data comes from

  • 100% Trust Index for organizations with less than 100 employees
  • 75% based on the Trust Index survey analytics and 25% based on responses to the Culture Audit for organizations with more than 100 employees.
For All™ Methodology

Great Place To Work, the global authority on workplace culture, determined the Philippines Best Workplaces™ 2023 List by conducting annual workforce studies through our Trust Index Survey™ and Culture Management platform Emprising®, representing the voices of over 450,000 employees across the Philippines.

Employees responded to over 60 survey questions describing the extent to which their organization creates a great place to work For All™, meaning that the company empowers all individuals to reach their full human potential. Eighty-five percent of the evaluation is based on what employees report about their experiences of trust and reaching their full human potential as part of their organization, no matter who they are or what they do. We analyze these experiences relative to each organization’s size, workforce makeup, and what’s typical in their industry and region. The remainder of the evaluation is an assessment of all employees’ daily experiences of the company’s values, people’s ability to contribute new ideas, and the effectiveness of their leaders to ensure they’re consistently experienced.

To ensure surveys truly represent all employees, we require enough people in each organization to respond that results are accurate to a 95% confidence level and 5% margin of error or better. We review any anomalies in survey responses, news, and financial performance to ensure there aren’t any extraordinary reasons to believe we couldn’t trust a company’s survey results.

Categories:
These organizations’ assessment is based 100% on employee responses to the Trust Index survey.

  • Small 10-99 Employees

For larger organizations with more than 100 employees, we also use our Culture Audit™ tool, asking organizations to share with us their practices, policies, and programs to create a great workplace For All™ and evaluate the approach they take.

  • Medium 100-999 Employees
  • Large 1000+ Employees