For the past 28 years Dr. Jim Harter, chief scientist from Gallup on workplace management and well-being has been involved with studies what does it take to keep employee engagement. He initiated the State of the American Workplace in the late 90s and their latest Gallup report provides insights into what leaders can do to improve employer engagement and performance in their companies, based on the data of more than 25 million employees from more than 1,000 companies in 195 countries.
Harter and colleague Randall Beck recently stated that only 30% of U.S. employees are engaged at work, with as low 13% worldwide. One of the most important contributing factors for this that accounted for an estimated 70% of the variance, is the person employees are reporting to – the manager. Inefficient management can cost companies billions of dollars each year. An important follow-up question is if Gallup research was able to indicate what are great managers made of.
Gallup researchers found that:
- Great managers motivate every single employee to take action and engage them with a compelling mission and vision.
- Great managers have the assertiveness to drive outcomes and the ability to overcome adversity and resistance.
- Great managers create a culture of clear accountability.
- Great managers build relationships that create trust, open dialogue, and full transparency.
- Great managers make decisions that are based on productivity, not politics.
Studies indicated that only one in 10 employees exhibits all these traits, but when put in management roles, they can contribute about 48% higher profit to their companies than average managers who display less of these talents. It is also possible for potential managers who display some of these traits to learn and grow to a higher level of efficiency if the organization is willing to invest in coaching and professional development for these managers.
If you rate yourself as a manager on each of these traits, how well do you perform? Or even better, how well would those team members reporting to you say you are performing?