Just one in five Australians are engaged at work and nearly half are looking for a new job, global poll shows

Adrian Lowe
The Nightly
2 Min Read
Australian workplaces face a reckoning on staff retention, mental health and productivity, according to global consultants Gallup.
Australian workplaces face a reckoning on staff retention, mental health and productivity, according to global consultants Gallup. Credit: Pixabay/Pixabay

Nearly two-thirds of Australian workers are not engaged at work — and men are more likely to be so than women, according to a new poll, while nearly half of all workers have experienced “a lot of stress”.

Meanwhile three-quarters of workers consider now is a good time to find a new job given ongoing skills shortages, with 44 per cent watching for or actively considering a new job, according to research by workplace consulting firm Gallup released on Wednesday. That number is little-changed from last year.

“Australian workplaces are facing a retention, productivity and mental health crisis,” Gallup APAC managing directior Claire de Carteret said.

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“Almost half of employees intend to leave and are actively looking for new roles.

“Organisational leaders urgently need to address this crisis by taking actions that foster a workplace culture of employee engagement and wellbeing.”

Gallup estimates the low levels of engagement at work, at just 21 per cent, with another 12 per cent actively disengaged, could cost the economy $220 billion each year.

But the global survey reveals the problem isn’t isolated to Australia, with employee engagement globally stagnating at just 23 per cent, creating ongoing issues for organisational productivity.

Australians are also enduring emotional stress in relatively high proportions, with 48 per cent of workers reporting a high level of stress during the previous work day, while 20 per cent, or one in five, said they felt sad and 15 per cent said they felt angry.

Despite the emotional challenges, Australia was ranked as the best region globally for the number of thriving employees, up 4 percentage points from 2022, and had the lowest number of workers experiencing loneliness on a daily basis.

Just 20 per cent of men said they were engaged at work in Australia compared to 29 per cent of women. Women were also 5 percentage points more likely to be stressed during “a lot of the day”

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