TOKYO, June 12, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Gallup’s latest State of the Global Workplace report finds that only 6% of the Japanese workforce is engaged — among the lowest in the world. Meanwhile, actively disengaged employees — i.e., workers who actively oppose their employer’s goals — outnumber engaged workers four to one in Japan, at 24%. The level of disengagement in Japan has stayed relatively consistent for over a decade despite significant labor and overtime reforms enacted in the country. Low engagement at work can have financial repercussions for businesses and the national economy: A Gallup analysis shows that Japanese companies lost over 86 trillion yen in 2023 due to the opportunity cost of low engagement.

“As engagement for Japanese employees remains static at 6%, there is much work to be done to improve the lives of most of the workers in Japan,” observes Chihiro Kamimura, Gallup learning and development consultant.

Globally, employee engagement stagnated at 23% in 2023 after multiple years of steady gains. The majority of the world’s employees continue to struggle at work and in life, with direct consequences for organizational productivity.

Gallup finds that when managers are engaged, non-manager employees are more likely to be engaged. Managers drive engagement through goal setting, regular, meaningful feedback and accountability. While only 30% of managers and 23% of employees overall are engaged globally, some organizations reach much higher levels of employee engagement and wellbeing.

The global workplace has changed since 2020. The rise in hybrid work for remote-capable employees has made people management more complicated. When organizations increase the number of employees who are engaged at work, it improves a host of organizational outcomes.

Japanese Workers Feel Stressed and Are Considering Leaving

In addition to poor levels of engagement, two in five workers in Japan are stressed, with 41% saying they experienced a lot of stress the prior day. Additionally, a third of the country’s workforce (33%) is actively seeking or watching for new job opportunities, despite the fact that only 40% say now is a good time to find a job.

“With the work ethic that exists in Japan, employers can make significant improvements to work life for many by implementing simple changes,” says Kamimura. “Using employee surveys is a step in the right direction, but to shape a culture, it’s more about how the approach towards engagement tends to be more prescriptive rather than empowerment-driven, where local managers and team members can have meaningful conversations.”

About Gallup
Gallup delivers analytics and advice to help leaders and organizations solve their most pressing problems. Combining more than 80 years of experience with its global reach, Gallup knows more about the attitudes and behaviors of employees, customers, students and citizens than any other organization in the world.

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