In our day-to-day interactions in the workplace and otherwise, we come across some people who know how to get things done easily. How do some managers get the most out of their teams than their peers? What is it that works for them? What are those essential qualities that make an effective manager or leader? Internationally renowned social and marketing research agency Gall Up’s recent study finds some interesting facts about it.
Only 13% of employees across the world are engaged at work – reveals the employee engagement study conducted by Gall Up organization, a leading research organization of the world. What’s even worse is, this low number has barely budged since Gall Up began reporting engagement worldwide in 2009, which means that a large chunk of workplaces has failed to engage their employees.
The poor state of employee engagement is further analysed; according to an estimation by Gall Up: managers, account for at least 70% of the variance in employee engagement across business units. When Gallup asked U.S. managers why they thought their company hired them for their current role, managers commonly said the organization promoted them because of their success in a previous non-managerial role, or they cited their tenure in their company or field. Unfortunately, these criteria miss a crucial element: the right talent to succeed as effective managers.
Gallup estimates that only about one in 10 people naturally possess the high talent to manage, and organizations often name the wrong person as manager about 80% of the time. It has also been observed by the study that one in two employees have left a job to get away from a manager and improve their overall life at some point in their career.
Given the troubling state of employee engagement in companies worldwide, it is understood that most managers aren’t creating environments in which employees feel engaged — or involved in, enthusiastic about, and get highly involved with their work and workplace.
What’s more, companies that fail to engage their employees are missing out on the powerful results that come from engaging. The latest employee engagement meta-analysis done by Gall Up reveals that business units in the top quartile are 17% more productive, experience 41% less absenteeism, experience 70% fewer safety incidents, have 10% better customer ratings and are 21% more profitable compared with business units in the bottom quartile.
Badly managed teams give rise to poorly performing companies, and that weak performance puts added stress on employees, resulting in a negative feedback loop that is dangerous to any business’ long-term health. Managing employees by focusing on their strengths is the way organizations should follow to counter the negative trend, suggests the study.
Focusing on Strengths-Based Development
The study was conducted among thousands of work teams and millions of leaders, managers and employees and discovered the significant potential in developing what is innately “right” with people versus trying to fix what’s “wrong” with them. A focus on employee strengths proceeds from the simple notion that we are all better at some things than others and that we would be happier and more productive if we spent more of our time doing those things.
Gallup studied workgroups that were using strengths-based interventions to examine the effects those interventions had on workgroup performance. This study included 49,495 business units with 1.2 million employees across 22 organizations in seven industries and 45 countries. Gallup researchers examined six outcomes: sales, profit, customer engagement, turnover, employee engagement and safety. On average, workgroups that received a strengths intervention improved on all of these measures by a significant quantum compared with control groups that received less-intensive interventions or none at all. Ninety percent of the workgroups studied had performance increases within the following ranges:
- 10% to 19% increased sales
- 14% to 29% increased profit
- 3% to 7% higher customer engagement
- 6% to 16% lower turnover (low-turnover organizations)
- 26% to 72% lower turnover (high-turnover organizations)
- 9% to 15% increase in engaged employees
- 22% to 59% fewer safety incidents
For organizations seeking to improve performance on crucial business outcomes, strengths-based development is a proven solution. To boost their business, leaders need to start developing the workforce based on what is right with them.