Gallup recently published the State of the American Manager: Analytics and Advice for Leaders. They found that just 35% of American managers are actively engaged in their jobs, while 51% of American managers are not engaged at all, and 14% are actively disengaged.
The rate of active engagement for managers is slightly higher than the 30% of American workers who are engaged overall. But, what is most concerning is the percent of managers who are not engaged and, especially that 14% who are actively disengaged. Managers who are actively disengaged may be sabotaging their company, their peers and their employees, and making negative comments to their friends, family or even customers. Is this happening on your team?
Female Managers Are More Engaged (on Average)
Gallup found that females are more likely to be engaged than their male counterparts (41% versus 35%). Accordingly, employees working for female managers are 6% more engaged than those working for male managers. As we’ve discussed previously, employees of female managers outscore employees of male managers on 11 of 12 engagement factors.
Implications for Your Organization
Managers are the single biggest factor driving the engagement and performance of the rest of their team. Here are some key points from the Gallup study:
- Managers account for at least 70% of the variance in employee engagement scores across business units.
- The estimated cost of managers who are not engaged or are actively disengaged is $319 to $398 BILLION annually. Yes, that’s Billion with a ‘B’!
- Half of all employees have left a job to get away from their manager.
- Employees who are supervised by highly engaged managers are 59% more likely to be engaged that those supervised by actively disengaged managers.
How Do You Know If Your Managers Are Engaged?
If you are the leader of your organization, you may feel that distance and your position make it difficult to know if your managers are engaged. Here are some steps you can take to get a better handle on the situation.
- Start with business results! Are you getting the results you should be from your organization and individual teams? Do your results vary from one team to another?
- Do you have high employee turnover? What are your employee retention rates, and do they vary from one group to another or between managers? If they do, you need to investigate!
- Conduct a survey of employee engagement. You can measure how engaged your employees are, and see how that engagement varies by manager. This is doable even for small organizations. The Gallup Q12 survey costs just $15 per employee. This can give you great insight into the engagement of your employees, which is very powerful when combined with the next recommendation.
- Talk with your managers and employees. Note that I said talk ‘with’ and not talk ‘to’. This can be formal or informal, and can be done individually or with a group. This is probably not a one-time event. If your managers and employees are concerned about job security, they won’t open up right away. But, if you are genuine and persistent, they will open up about their engagement, or lack of engagement.
- Ask yourself, “Do I engage with my own employees who are managers?” Employees and managers alike will mirror their manager. If you work on engaging your managers, they will tend to work on engaging their employees.
- What is the actual culture of your organization? What are your company values? This isn’t the propaganda you find on your website in the “About Acme Corporation.” This is how your managers and employees actually behave. It is possible to create a culture of engagement. In my corporate career at Hewlett-Packard, I worked with a number of executive teams to create cultures of high performance and high engagement. Many were successful from a culture standpoint, and also a business standpoint.
If you realize that you need to know where you stand on employee and manager engagement, we can help. Call us at 858-735-1300 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a complimentary consultation.
Next week, we will discuss how you select managers for engagement.