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Workers Not Producing? Blame the Managers

April 22, 2015
By Rory J. Thompson - Web Editor

New research has uncovered what many disgruntled workers have felt for some time: it’s management’s fault.

While that thought might well be a bit of a stretch, new research from the Gallup organization finds that managers can account for up to a 70 percent variance in a worker’s engagement level with their job. The study, titled “The State of the American Manager: Analytics and Advice for Leaders”, looked at various American workplaces like offices and call centers, and found some unsettling conclusions.

“Only 30 percent of U.S. employees are engaged at work, and a staggeringly low 13 percent worldwide are engaged," the study found. “Worse, over the past 12 years, these low numbers have barely budged, meaning that the vast majority of employees worldwide are failing to develop and contribute at work.”

These numbers are especially disconcerting for those in the call center arena, which typically has a high turnover rate, sometimes attributed to the stress that comes with the job. But these new findings might also be pointing a finger at management, suggesting that more needs to be done on their end to keep employees motivated and eager.

“No matter the industry, size or location, companies are struggling to unlock the mystery of why performance varies from one workgroup to the next,” the report adds. “Performance fluctuates widely and unnecessarily in most companies, in no small part from the lack of consistency in how people are managed.”

The study suggests that businesses need to better measure what matters to workers. Researchers “discovered links between employee engagement at the business-unit level and vital performance indicators, including customer ratings; higher profitability, productivity and quality (fewer defects); lower turnover; less absenteeism and shrinkage (i.e., theft); and fewer safety incidents.”

In short, when a company raises employee engagement levels consistently across every business unit, everything gets better.

More detailed analysis on Gallup’s findings can be found HERE.


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