Workers around the world were more stressed than ever in 2021. That’s one of the concerning findings in the latest version of the Gallup State of the Global Workplace: 2022. This research found that 44% of worldwide workers reported having daily stress at work, up slightly from 43% in 2020, which itself was a record at the time.
In addition, Gallup found that 60% of workers around the world are emotionally detached at their jobs, and 19% are plain miserable. The same study says that just 9% of workers are thriving and engaged. Gallup has been conducting this research for more than a decade with the lowest percentage of daily stressed workers occurring in 2009 at 31%.
Gallup attributes the high stress level to poor leadership. In a letter preceding the study, Gallup CEO Jon Clifton wrote “The real fix is this simple: better leaders in the workplace. Managers need to be better listeners, coaches and collaborators. Great managers help colleagues learn and grow, recognize their colleagues for doing great work, and make them truly feel cared about. In environments like this, workers thrive.”
But of course great leadership is not simple. Organizations spend billions to try and develop their leaders, often with little impact. The key to improving leadership and ultimately improving individual and organization success is focusing on the leadership skills that really matter. Social Intelligence skills equip leaders to be better coaches, to inspire their employees and to achieve outstanding performance. For decades research shows that the ability to build effective relationships with others is more important that education, IQ or work experience.
Social Intelligence is the ability to develop those relationships and overcome the stress and brain biases that we all face. It’s the most foundational skill a leader can have. Learn more about Social Intelligence and leadership.