Employee engagement: how does Europe compare globally?

A little over 3% of employees in Europe are engaged in their work, whilst a further 28.9% of employees are engaged and committed. But how do these figures compare to employee engagement and commitment in the rest of the world?

Employee engagement: how does Europe compare globally?

The latest employee engagement and employee commitment figures and insights are taken from our global employee survey, which asked respondents in 52 countries over 100 questions each.

What’s the difference between engagement and commitment?

At Effectory International, we’re often asked to explain the difference between engagement and commitment. Engagement is an intrinsic attitude that denotes an employee’s enthusiasm for his or her job. Commitment, on the other hand, denotes an employee’s enthusiasm for the company he or she works for.

To provide insight into the level of engagement and commitment within an organisation, we categorise employees into four types: engaged and committed, engaged, committed and neither engaged nor committed. The four types differ in the following way:

  • Engaged and committed employees are both engaged in their work and committed to the organisation. Employees love their work and the company they work for.
  • Engaged employees are engaged in their work, but not committed to the organisation.
  • Committed employees are committed to the organisation, but not engaged in their work.
  • Employees that are neither engaged nor committed are neither engaged in their work, nor committed to the organisation.

We believe that the best case scenario is when an employee is engaged in the job and committed to the organisation. If an employee is only engaged, there is the distinct risk that they are not committed to the organisation, and vice versa.

A simple metaphor for employee engagement

Engagement and commitment in Europe

Employee engagement in Europe stands at 3.1%, whilst the percentage of those employees that are engaged and committed sits at 28.9%. Analysis shows that nearly 40% of employees are committed to their organisation, and over 1 in 4 employees (28.1%) are neither engaged nor committed.   Finally, over 10% of European employees that are engaged and/or committed intend to leave.

So what does this tell us? And how do Europe’s figures compare with the rest of the world? 

Europe compared to the rest of the world

Engaged and committed employees

When compared to the rest of the world, the percentage of employees that are engaged and committed in Europe is below average. The global average stands at 30%, with both North (40.4%) and South (43.1%) America sitting well above it. Slightly further below, the 36.4% of employees in Africa that are engaged and committed means that Europe has only the fourth highest percentage of employees that are engaged and committed.

Falling below Europe are Asia and Oceania, where the percentage of engaged and committed employees lies at 23.4% and 28% respectively.

Driving employee engagement

Learn how to increase employee engagement and commitment

Discover actionable insights on how to increase employee engagement, and read the results of our extensive European research.

Register today.

Engagement

Comparatively, Europe fairs slightly better in its placement for engagement than it does for engagement and commitment. Of the six continents, only Africa (6.7%) and South America (4.3%) have a higher percentage of engaged employees than Europe. Despite this fact, Europe does however, still fall below the global average of 3.2%.

Slightly further afield of Europe is Asia, where the percentage of employees that are engaged in their work is 2.5%. North America has 0.4% fewer engaged employees than Asia, and the continent with the lowest percentage is Oceania, where just 1.6% of employees are engaged.

Commitment

In contrast to the two above, the  39.9% percentage of European employees that are committed to their organisation not only falls above the global average (39%), but only Oceania has a higher percentage of employees that are committed to their organisation. After Oceania (46.7%) and Europe, the next continents with the highest percentage committed employees are Asia (38.4%) and North America (37.2%).

Below North America, and further below the global average for commitment are both Africa and South America, where the percentage of committed employees is 35.3% and 33.2%.

Employee engagement and commitment is on the rise

Not engaged or committed

Perhaps worryingly, the only other continent to have a higher percentage of employees that are neither engaged nor committed is Asia, with 35.7%. Although the percentage in Europe is much lower than the figure in Asia, there is still around a 5% difference between Europe and the next highest figure in Oceania (23.7%).

Rounding off the global regions are Africa (21.6%), North America (20.4%) and South America (19.3%). When compared to Europe, we can see that within the above three regions there is a noticeable decrease in the percentage of employees that are not engaged or committed.

Engaged and/or committed members intending to leave

Despite having the second highest percentage of employees that are neither engaged nor committed, Europe has the third lowest percentage of engaged and/or committed employees intending to leave. Only Asia (8.9%) and North America (9.8%) have a smaller percentage of engaged and/or committed employees intending leave.

Contrastingly, three continents all have a higher percentage than Europe. Slightly above the 10.9% in Europe is Oceania, with 12%. Following on from Oceania we see a slight rise, as Africa (14.4%) and South America (14.8%) have the highest percentage of engaged and/or committed employees intending to leave.

New global report reveals good news for HR and international organisations 

How does Europe compare?

When compared to the rest of the world, Europe is comparatively somewhere around the global average.

There is clearly positive news in terms of the percentage of employees that are committed to their organisation and, the lower than average percentage of engaged and/or committed employees intending to leave is also pleasing to see for organisations. Fairing slightly less positively is the percentage of employees that are engaged and committed and perhaps worryingly, the high percentage of employees that are not engaged or committed is second only to Asia.

Finally, employee engagement in Europe is slightly on the low side of the global average, although our latest global HR report does reveal that of the top ten ranked countries for engagement, European countries account for 20%.