KIRO NEWSRADIO OPINION

More than half of workers aren’t engaged on the job, Gallup reports

Jul 12, 2023, 2:20 PM | Updated: 2:22 pm

Image: Commercial real estate giant CBRE's Toronto facilities...

Commercial real estate giant CBRE's Toronto facilities (Photo: Carlos Osorio/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

(Photo: Carlos Osorio/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

More than half of U.S. workers aren’t engaged on the job and only about one in four feel strongly that their organization cares about their wellbeing, according to recent reports from Gallup.

According to the company’s State of the Global Workplace 2023 Report released last month, and reported on by multiple media outlets, 52% of U.S. employees are “quiet quitting,” meaning they’re not engaged at work. Globally, that rises to 59% of employees.

Gallup also reports that while employee engagement actually is rising, employee stress has also increased.

In addition, another recent Gallup report states just one in four U.S. workers feel strongly that their organization cares about their wellbeing. Gallup notes this has been trending down since it peaked at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gee Scott and Ursula Reutin took up the culture of work culture on KIRO Newsradio’s “Gee and Ursula Show” Wednesday saying the report shows that a culture change is happening at workplaces around the country.

“I think there’s going to be an attitude adjustment here real soon because of what is happening in the market,” Ursula said. “We just got word that Microsoft is cutting another 260 or 270 Seattle area jobs. That’s on top of the 10,000 that they announced in January.”

More on the Microsoft job cuts: Washington-based tech giant cuts more Puget Sound-area positions

Many employees see shifts away from flexible schedules and remote work options as reasons for job dissatisfaction. Many say the benefits of remote work they experienced during the pandemic, including more time with family and cutting back commutes, are now critical to their happiness.

“I am divided on this topic,” Gee said. “I believe that when you go to a job or any job, you should not be doing the minimum that it takes; you should be working hard, you should be doing everything that you can do so that you can move up within the company.”

More from KIRO: Gee, Ursula, Medved spar over key recent Supreme Court rulings

At the same time, Gee said a lot of poor people who work hard are extremely underpaid. He added that they see bosses putting in very little effort and getting paid a lot more.

“If you feel like your employer isn’t giving you what you need to do your work, you’re going to be much less loyal—and looking for other work,” Jim Harter, chief workplace scientist at Gallup and lead author on the report, said according to the Wall Street Journal.

Gallup surveyed more than 60,000 people in the U.S. to compile the report, according to the Journal. It says engaged workers are more productive and tend to stay at their jobs for longer.

“We’ve heard from companies, including Amazon, that are now asking their employees to return to work. And that is actually one of the things that is causing people to have a negative feeling about their employers now,” Ursula said.

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The Job Conference Board found in a November survey that among the nation’s happiest workers are those who voluntarily switched jobs during the pandemic and those who can work from home at least part time. The Conference Board found workers’ happiness has improved in recent years because many people’s salaries increased, and they moved into positions that were a better fit.

“There are some people doing hardly anything and getting paid a lot of money,” Gee reiterated. “If I say right now that the people who are the lowest paid at corporate America are the hardest workers and the usually the person that’s the highest paid works the least.”

“I actually will disagree with you,” Ursula said. “If I look at my own trajectory, I started here making $13,500 a year. Granted, it was 1988. I was the lowest paid. I looked at the positions that I wanted to be in, and I worked my butt off to try to get there. I think that’s the difference.”

Listen to Gee Scott and Ursula Reutin weekday mornings from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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More than half of workers aren’t engaged on the job, Gallup reports