Fewer than half of employees in Germany are satisfied at work, says report

Fewer than half of employees in Germany are satisfied at work, says report

A recent report by the US polling organisation Gallup has found that fewer than half of employees in Germany are satisfied at work and 39 percent intend to leave their current job.

State of the Global Workplace: 2024 Report

Based on 2.336.570 interviews with respondents in 160 countries, conducted between 2009 and 2023, the State of the Global Workplace Report 2024 has found that the wellbeing of the world’s working population is declining. 

The Gallup report assessed “the current state of employee mental health and wellbeing” before examining the “economic and policy-related factors associated with employee wellbeing”, such as labour laws and job availability.

Across the globe, 62 percent of workers reported feeling disengaged and unenthusiastic about their work. According to Gallup, poor management, working conditions and ongoing stress at work which leads employees to disengage, is estimated to cost 8,9 trillion US dollars in lost productivity worldwide.

85 percent of German employees feel disengaged at work

“Employees can become engaged when their basic needs are met, and they have a chance to contribute, a sense of belonging, and opportunities to learn and grow,” the Gallup report explains in its definition of employee engagement.

The figures revealed that these needs are rarely being met. In Romania, the country with the highest employee engagement, only 36 percent of workers reported feeling engaged in their jobs. In Germany, the same figure dropped to just 15 percent.

The results underline the similar findings of a 2023 YouGov poll, which discovered that only 47 percent of people employed in Germany feel that their current job is meaningful.

For those who considered themselves engaged in their work, self-reported wellbeing was higher in countries “with substantial labour rights”. “Combined labour protections and employee engagement are associated with the lowest levels of negative daily emotions,” Gallup assessed. 

These included labour laws affecting personal and working life - and the relationship between the two -  for example, labour laws regulating maternity leave resulted in reduced loneliness and laws regulating hours and safe conditions were associated with less stress at work.

The German coalition government has moved to improve working conditions by introducing paternity leave (though it has been delayed), relaxing the rules for working parents taking care of ill children and requiring employees to log their hours to avoid unpaid overtime, among other policies. But vital labour regulations mentioned by Gallup are also being cut and economic disparities have been left unaddressed; including cutting the Bürgergeld unemployment benefit for those who have rejected work positions, Elterngeld cuts for high-income parents and a growing wage inequality between eastern and western German federal states.

Disengaged and stressed employees are looking for new jobs

In Germany, 41 percent of respondents said they feel stress “a lot of the day”, 18 percent said they felt sad and 17 percent said that their job made them feel angry on a daily basis.

Feeling ground down by stress, disengaged and in the midst of a record-high worker shortage, employees in Germany feel there are better options out there and are motivated to move on to something else.

67 percent of respondents said that they thought it was a good time to look for a new job and 39 percent said more concretely that they intend to leave their current position and are “watching for or actively seeking a new job”.

Top 10 countries for employee satisfaction and confidence

The top 10 countries for employee satisfaction and confidence according to Gallup are:

  1. Finland
  2. Denmark 
  3. Iceland
  4. The Netherlands
  5. Sweden 
  6. Norway 
  7. Belgium
  8. Lithuania 
  9. Slovakia 
  10. Czechia

For the full report, or more information about the methodology, check out Gallup’s website.

Thumb image credit: eldar nurkovic /

Olivia Logan


Olivia Logan

Editor for Germany at IamExpat Media. Olivia first came to Germany in 2013 to work as an Au Pair. Since studying English Literature and German in Scotland, Freiburg and Berlin...

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