Only 6% of Japanese employees feel engaged: report

Employees in search of new work amid low engagement, high stress levels

Only 6% of Japanese employees feel engaged: report

Only six per cent of employees in Japan feel engaged, registering one of the lowest levels across the world, according to a new report from Gallup.

Gallup's latest State of the Global Workplace report revealed that Japan tied with Hong Kong for having the lowest levels of engagement across the globe.

It is significantly lower than the employee engagement average of 18% in East Asia and 23% worldwide.

Source: Gallup's State of the Global Workplace report

The number of actively disengaged employees in Japan also outnumber engaged workers four to one, according to the report.

The low level of engagement comes despite the government's labour and overtime reforms, according to Gallup, which warned of further financial repercussion for businesses and the economy. Its analysis revealed that Japanese companies and the economy lost over 86 trillion yen in 2023 because of the opportunity cost of low engagement.

"As engagement for Japanese employees remains static at six per cent, there is much work to be done to improve the lives of most of the workers in Japan," said Chihiro Kamimura, Gallup learning and development consultant, in a statement.

To boost engagement, Gallup said managers are able to drive engagement "through goal setting, regular, meaningful feedback, and accountability."

"Great managers help employees find meaning and reward in their work. As a result, employees take an interest in what they do, leading to higher productivity and enjoyment," the report read.

Intent to leave

Meanwhile, the report also found that 41% of employees in Japan suffer from stress, placing third in the East Asian region.

Amid high levels of stress and poor engagement, 33% of employees said they are now watching for or actively seeking a new job.

This is despite only 40% of employees thinking that now is a good time to look for a new employer, according to the report.

Kamimura said employers can make "significant improvements to work life for many employees by implementing simple changes.

"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," Kamimura said.

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