wweds - past futureState of the American Workplace is Gallup’s cross-industry report that features data from over 31 million respondents about their attitudes toward work. In April, a seminar at Gallup’s Chicago office discussed some of the report’s more compelling findings:

  • Respondents’ priorities have shifted from wanting a job that provides clearly defined, objective measures of success to jobs that provide emotional measures of support, well-being, and professional progress.
  • Only a third of employees (33%) described themselves as engaged in their jobs and approximately half (51%) are actively looking for a new job. While overall engagement numbers have held steady since 2006, great organizations boast 70% of employees describing themselves as engaged.
  • By 2020, Millennials will be the majority of the workforce. They are also the least likely to be engaged in their work.

How do we as workplace strategists and designers use these data when advising clients? By understanding broad trends in areas of employee priorities, engagement and demographics we have a better idea of who is in the workforce now (and how that may shift) and what space-based solutions can keep workers productive and innovative.

For example, we’ve advised many of our clients to consider Leadership Hubs to make executives more visible and accessible—increasing engagement across professional levels and allowing good, profitable ideas to get to decision makers quicker.

And while comprehensive, nationwide reports like Gallup’s State of the American Workplace are great tools for identifying the big ideas, company-level assessments (such as our Workplace Alignment survey) touch on the issues included in the Gallup report but is customized to provide specific, actionable data that will improve our clients’ workplace for their people.