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A whopping 90% of UK employees 'quietly quit': Gallup

A whopping 90% of UK employees 'quietly quit': Gallup
A whopping 90% of UK employees 'quietly quit': Gallup


People are walking in the Canary Wharf financial district in London, England.

Simon Dawson | Reuters

Britain faces serious problems.

Gallup's new State of the Global Workforce 2024 report found that only 10% of UK workers are engaged in their work, putting the UK behind the US and several European countries.

This means that a whopping 90% of employees are feeling disconnected from their role and are likely to jump into the “quiet exit” trend of the past few years.

It also found that 40% of UK employees reported experiencing daily stress, while 27% reported feeling daily sadness, the second highest rate across European countries. Another 20% of workers reported feeling angry every day.

In comparison, 23% of employees globally said they were engaged at work, and 33% of U.S. workers said they were engaged at work.

Data for the Gallup report was collected in 2023 and surveyed 128,278 working adults in more than 160 countries. The survey was conducted annually in person or by phone.

“Inactive workers are often trapped in jobs they do not enjoy for economic reasons,” the report said.

“Economic factors are likely to play a role in active departure. We infer that job opportunities allow angry employees to leave a bad situation and seek a better one.”

Less than half of UK employees said now was a good time to look for work, and almost a third said they were actively looking for another job.

British workers have been less confident about the jobs market as vacancies are falling after a post-pandemic peak in 2022, according to Office for National Statistics data analyzed by McKinsey.

Job vacancies were down 31% in January 2024 compared to two years ago. This means workers feel like they have to stay because there aren't many opportunities.

sharp contrast

In a sample of 10,000 individuals in the UK's Understanding Society longitudinal study from 1991 to 2022, 26% of respondents said they wanted to change jobs. But according to McKinsey, only a quarter of people said they actually changed employers after three years. And 19% stayed despite saying they wanted to leave.

This means that between 20% and 40% of an organization's workforce is made up of people who quietly quit, according to McKinsey data combined with Understanding Society research.

The impact of quietly quitting and leaving a company is significant for businesses and the economy, with Gallup estimating that low levels of engagement cost the global economy $8.9 trillion, or 9% of global gross domestic product (GDP). do.

A Gallup 2024 meta-analysis that cited reports from 183,000 business units across 53 industries and 90 countries found that companies with higher employee engagement also reported better results.

The study reported a 68% increase in employee well-being. Profitability increased by 23% and productivity increased by 13%.

“For many wellbeing dimensions (stress, anger, anxiety, loneliness), being actively disconnected from work is equal to or worse than losing a job,” according to the report.

“Conversely, when employees find their work and work relationships meaningful, employment is associated with higher levels of daily enjoyment and lower levels of negative daily emotions.”




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