If your organization is not as profitable, productive or proactive as it could (or should) be, you probably don’t need to look farther than your management team to find the cause. The world’s largest researcher of business performance, Gallup Inc., recently released its State of the American Manager report, a massive research study on the causes of and solutions to organizational underperformance. Some key findings include:
I am kind of a Gallup groupie. They produce world class research with fairly shocking results that tell us something very profound and yet simple – if you want to improve your business results, improve the effectiveness of your leadership.
Poor management produces what Gallup calls the cascade effect. In essence, the performance of an employee is driven by the performance of their manager. And the performance of their manager is driven by the performance of that manager’s manager. And so on. Employees who are supervised by highly engaged managers are 59% more likely to be engaged than those supervised by actively disengaged managers. Disengagement is not just the latest consultant buzz word. Disengagement manifests itself in all the things we are concerned about – negative growth, customer turnover, stressful work environments and lower profits. At its worst, it translates to employee theft, workplace accidents and employee sabotage.
Turning the Tide
Solving the engagement problem is simple – just not easy. The following practices are the key drivers of manager engagement:
I believe all of these principals are fundamentally understood by most companies. The problem is we are so busy with the daily onrush of “work” that the importance of developing our people becomes obscured. The seemingly urgent trumps the important. Not until we invest in and engage the best possible talent will our organization performance live up to its potential.