Discover how employees around the world experienced life and work in 2020.

  • Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic
  • Employee Engagement and Life Evaluation
  • Daily Negative Emotions
  • Environmental, Social and Governance
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What if the next global crisis is a mental health pandemic?

It is here now.

As you will see in this report, negative emotions — worry, stress, anger and sadness — among employees across the world reached record levels in 2020.

In addition, Gallup has found that roughly seven in 10 employees are struggling or suffering, rather than thriving, in their overall lives. Eighty percent are not engaged or are actively disengaged at work. This lack of engagement costs the global economy US$8.1 trillion, nearly 10% of GDP, in lost productivity each year.

These problems existed long before COVID-19. Gallup has discovered that negative emotions have been rising over the past decade. Even if we return to pre-COVID-19 levels of these emotions, the trends are still concerning.

But it is possible — even likely — that employee mental health will get worse.

Gallup is taking on the mental health challenge, because solving any big, seemingly impossible problem starts with the question “What can we measure?” It is unlikely that you or other leaders have data on companywide wellbeing or resiliency — or data on how many employees in your organization are filled with stress and will soon burn out versus how many feel energized and inspired at work.

Gallup is the only organization capturing these statistics on how life is going for employees in a representative sample of the world.

Measuring employee mental health is critical. Besides destroying lives, suffering can destroy the human spirit that drives innovation, economic energy and eventually, good jobs. This is likely tied to declining economic dynamism. Global GDP per capita is slowing — it has been for decades.

But this trend can be reversed. The first step is to create inspiring workplace cultures that maximize the potential and wellbeing of every employee.

Jim Clifton
Chairman and CEO of Gallup