Gallup released its latest State of the American Manager Report this week.* The renowned research and consulting company did its homework. The report is based on four decades of research and a study of 2.5 million manager-led teams in 195 countries. These folks analyzed the engagement of 27 million employees. So I tend to believe the results. And they are not pretty.
Although as the Turnaround Authority, I do get more consulting assignments related to the failings of managers as pointed out in this report. But that doesn’t make me happy about the state of management in our country.
Today I’ll share the most important findings of the report, and in future blogs, will delve deeper into some of these findings.
- Manager talent is rare, and organizations have a hard time finding it
Wow. Research showed that the majority of managers are not suited to their role; 82 percent don’t have the high talent required. That talent naturally exists in just 1 in 10 people, but two in 10 can be trained to be successful managers.
The study listed five talents of great managers. They motivate their employees, make unbiased decisions for the good of the team and the company, create a culture of accountability, build trusting relationships and assert themselves to overcome obstacles.
- Talent is the most powerful predictor of performance
If you hire a talented manager, you can expect a 48 percent increase in profitability. That’s huge.
These managers are more engaged, function as brand ambassadors for the company and focus more on employees’ strengths than weaknesses.
- Managers have the greatest impact on engagement
I don’t know how research companies figure out such things, but Gallup research found that managers who are not engaged in their jobs or who are actively disengaged, cost the U.S. economy $319 billion to $398 billion annually. Or roughly the GNP of our entire country in 1953.
And the percentages of managers who are not engaged are high: 51 percent are not engaged, 14 percent are actively disengaged for a total of 65 percent.
Equally disturbing is the finding that at some point in their career, one in two employees have left their job to get away from their manager.
• Female managers have an engagement advantage
It’s true guys, according to Gallup. Female managers are more likely to be engaged than male managers, at 41 percent versus 35.
For the highest percentage of engaged employees, look for females working for a female manager. They will have a 35 percent engagement rate. Male employees working for male managers had the lowest rate, at just 25 percent.
- Specific behaviors can help managers increase employee engagement
I suppose this is a glimmer of good news. At this point in reviewing the report, I felt I needed it.
Two-thirds of employees who strongly agree that their manager helps them set work priorities and goals are engaged. And more than half of employees who strongly agree that their manager is open and approachable are engaged.
I do agree that managers can adapt certain behaviors that can engage employees in their companies. For tips of keeping your employees engaged, see my previous column, “Top Tips for Keeping Employees Engaged.”
Stay tuned in the coming weeks as I talk more about what the findings of the report are and what you can do about it in your company.
* Click here to download a PDF of the report.