Gallup Points to Mental Health PandemicGallup‘s global workforce survey points to a mental health pandemic.

And Jim Clifton, the Chairman and CEO of Gallup, minces no words:

“What if the next global crisis is a mental health pandemic?

It is here now.”

Gallup has published the results of its State of the Global Workplace 2021 Report. And the findings are astonishing.

  • 80 percent of the global workforce is disengaged, whereas 66 percent of North American workers (from the US and Canada) are disengaged;
  • Nearly half of North American workers (48 percent) are consumed with worry. More than half of female workers (53 percent) expressed worry versus 43 percent of male workers, and;
  • 57 percent of North American workers are emotionally stressed. Of these, 62 percent of female workers are affected (versus 52 percent of male workers).

What is more, across the globe nearly one in three workers lost a job due to the pandemic. And that workplace disengagement cost the global economy 10 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) or $8.1 trillion.

This study confirms what other findings have made clear: the Covid-19 pandemic disproportionately affected women. Women workers endured more stress, were sadder, and suffered workplace disengagement in higher numbers than their male counterparts.

Gallup Points to Mental Health Pandemic

Negative emotions expressed by workers increased considerably during the pandemic.

Mental health gets little attention in the workplace.

However, one recommendation this report establishes is that, in the post-pandemic age, hiring managers must become more intentional in their engagement with professional talent. From the report’s executive summary:

“As employers rethink their workplaces in 2021, they have lessons to learn from 2020. Most importantly, leaders need to recognize the influence of employee wellbeing and employee engagement on workforce resilience.”

Surely, worker wellbeing is not universal.

Old school managers will still expect their people to return to the co-location and “buck it up.” Yet, we know that they do so at the peril of workforce retention as best employees will seek out better and more supportive places to work.

Market drivers can trigger worker wellbeing improvements. But alone, they cannot solve this mental health pandemic.

When hiring managers recognize that work is part of the day and not the entire day, then worker engagement improves. And when that happens, our best days lie ahead.

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Image credits: Stressed and saddened female worker, fizkes for iStockPhoto; Survey finding, Gallup; Podcast button, J. Brandt Studio for The Dan Smolen Experience.