Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Employees' Engagement and Wellbeing Across Various Nations in the Sub-Saharan Region

Gallup's latest State of the Global Workplace report reveals a stagnation in global employee engagement and a decline in employee wellbeing in 2023, reversing multiple years of steady gains. 

These findings indicate that a majority of the world's employees continue to struggle both at work and in life, impacting organizational productivity.

The report highlights a diverse and intricate picture of employee engagement and wellbeing across various nations in the Sub-Saharan region. One in five employees in this region are engaged at work, slightly below the global average of 23%. 

However, there are significant variations within the region: South Africa shows 29% engagement, Tanzania 31%, Kenya 18%, and Senegal a notably high 40%.

The Impact of Work on Mental Health and Wellbeing

Work is a critical factor in overall life experiences and mental health, with engagement at work playing a significant role. Nearly half of all employees in Sub-Saharan Africa (48%) report experiencing stress frequently, a two-percentage-point increase from 2022, and higher than the global rate of 41%. 

Stress levels also vary widely: 32% in South Africa, 34% in Kenya, 46% in Senegal, 40% in Zambia, and a much lower 25% in Zimbabwe.

Sadness is another metric where the region exceeds global rates, with 28% of employees reporting frequent sadness compared to 22% globally. Again, the variation is striking: South Africa and Senegal each report 20%, Kenya 23%, Tanzania 24%, Zambia 28%, Gambia 36%, and Togo 37%. Mauritius and Namibia report significantly lower sadness at 15% and 16%, respectively, while Guinea is much higher at 49%.

Loneliness is a critical issue, with 20% of the world's employees feeling lonely frequently. Sub-Saharan Africa has the second-highest regional percentage, with 28% feeling lonely compared to the global 22%.

When it comes to overall life evaluation, only 17% of employees in Sub-Saharan Africa are thriving, compared to the global rate of 34%. South Africa and Senegal are significantly higher than the regional average, with 32% and 27% respectively, while Kenya and Tanzania are at 16% and 14%. Sierra Leone has the lowest rate at just 8%.

Confidence in the job market is waning, with 49% of employees in the region believing it is a good time to find a job, a slight decrease from last year. However, a striking 75% are actively seeking new job opportunities, far exceeding the global rate of 52%. In South Africa, 56% of employees are looking for new opportunities, compared to 81% in Kenya, 88% in Sierra Leone, 68% in Senegal, 63% in Namibia, and 71% in Ghana.

The Changing Workplace

Since 2020, the global workplace has seen significant shifts, particularly with the rise in hybrid work. This has complicated people management but also highlighted the potential benefits of increasing employee engagement.

 The findings suggest that there is vast potential for workplaces in Africa to improve employee engagement and wellbeing. However, the diversity in the data underscores that underlying factors can vary significantly from one country to another, necessitating tailored approaches for different regions.

Gallup's report underscores the need for focused efforts to improve employee engagement and wellbeing, which are crucial for enhancing productivity and overall life satisfaction. The varying metrics across the Sub-Saharan region highlight the complexities and opportunities in addressing these issues effectively.