The Wellbeing-Engagement Paradox of 2020 | Gallup Workplace

Leadership & Culture

The article notes how employee engagement and wellbeing became disconnected from each other in 2020. While Gallup research has previously shown that engagement and wellbeing are reciprocal (they influence each other) and additive (each makes a unique but complementary contribution to employees’ thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and performance outcomes), new research shows a paradoxical relationship between the two. For example, although stress and uncertainty of the pandemic negatively affected employee wellbeing., employee engagement steadily increased, “even reaching record highs multiple times throughout the summer.” One explanation is that despite higher stress levels, many workers have derived positive experiences through the pandemic—such as feeling thankful to have jobs, increased flexibility and autonomy resulting from remote work, and being united with coworkers under a shared sense of purpose. These results indicate that engagement and wellbeing are two different measures and should be prioritized alongside each other. The article shares ideas on how leaders can help workers prevent burnout.

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