“The world is a broken place”

What does it mean when over 90 percent of workers in one of the largest economies are “disengaged” at work? In the US alone, 70 percent of workers are “disengaged”. What does that mean for our global economic system?

To Jim Clifton it means “Global society, we have a problem.”

Clifton is the Chairman and CEO of Gallup, one of the largest and well respected analytics organizations in the world. In his latest blog post, he shares some shocking data. Here are some choice nuggets:

  • Many people in the world hate their job and especially their boss.
  • Global GDP per capita, or productivity, has been in general decline for decades
  • Only 15% of the world’s one billion full-time workers are engaged at work.

What’s the disconnect? Clifton points to the slavery-era practices which form the basis of the corporate management framework. He says the workplace, and particularly managers, fail to nurture strengths in their employees, or encourage them to strive. Instead, they focus on paper pushing and reviews which focus on gaps instead of strengths.


As a result, we’re seeing tremendous turmoil across the world. For example, Clifton says:

To demonstrate the historical seriousness, stress and clinical burnout and subsequent suicide rates in Japan have caused the government to intervene. The current practice of management is now destroying their culture — a staggering 94% of Japanese workers are not engaged at work…

..Employees everywhere don’t necessarily hate the company or organization they work for as much as they do their boss. Employees — especially the stars — join a company and then quit their manager. It may not be the manager’s fault so much as these managers have not been prepared to coach the new workforce.

Clifton says what has changed is as important as what hasn’t. Millennials, he says, which are replacing boomers in the workplace identify more significantly and differently than previous generations, yet, workplace and management practices haven’t changed to keep up. As a result, workplaces “grinds the life” out of these young inspired people.

Clifton claims if something isn’t done soon, it could destroy us:

World productivity has been in general decline for far too long. If this trend isn’t reversed immediately, it means the end of civilization.

Admittedly a strong statement. Clifton acknowledges this. And while his blog post includes a pitch for a Gallup-hosted event designed to try to reverse these trends, I think the facts speak for themselves: There is so much changing in the world – for the better – fundamental change is a foregone conclusion.

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