The state of the national economy, the mood of the country and it’s growth trajectory, too, have a significant impact on the workers’ attitudes and expectations. This comes from a recent Watson & Wyatt’ s survey, one of the most comprehensive studies to understand workers’ attitudes.

The highest engagement levels were found to be in Europe, followed by Asia Pacific with Americans being the least engaged. According to Anita Belani, country head for Watson Wyatt in India: “Attitudinally, the centrality of work in an executive’s life in Europe is not as high as in many other places, Shorter work week, work-life balance and vacation time keep engagement high”

The sheer growth momentum in the Asia-Pacific is keeping spirits high. Even though the work conditions in the region may be far below the western nations’ standards, the buoyancy in the economy and optimistic job outlook have kept workers modestly engaged.  India, with a buoyant economy and a cheery outlook, leads with engagement levels at 78%, followed by the Philippines. Japan and its lacklustre economy is visibly taking its toll. China does not figure strongly in the engagement score>

The study reveals that Indian workers are happiest about their role clarity and how they fit into the entire scheme of things in the company. The respect at the workplace and outside plays a significant role in a worker’s life. “Work defines who you are here,” says Belani.

No prizes for guessing the bottom three: salaries and training & development remains big problem areas. Surprisingly, strategic leadership and direction too find mention here. “It need not be the big boss, but the immediate supervisor who might be responsible,” says Belani.

Frequent promotions and ill-equipped insecure supervisors with poor managerial skills are creating a spiralling discontent within organisations. Companies dealing with hyper growth will need to find a better way to promote and prepare young executives for bigger roles.