Gallup research tells us that managers account for 70% of variance in employee engagement.

On top of that, only 30% of employees in the US are engaged at work, and the worldwide statistic stands at only 13%.

So what does this mean?

Besides the old saying “People join a company, but they leave a boss.” It means that the majority of people turning up for work each day are not engaged in their jobs. They’re not connected to their team members, they don’t feel connected to the company, they don’t feel part of the organisation, and they don’t feel aligned with what’s going on.

Now with 70% of the variance of that engagement coming from the manager, then the manager – the leader – plays such an important role in generating that engagement.

And why should we care?

We care because people make up organisations, and people aren’t engaged. They’re stressed at work which impacts the stress of their life, which impacts their health and their relationships. Which then impacts the people around them, their families and communities. And on the flip side, it impacts organisations, their profitability, their performance (safety, quality, productivity, efficiency, innovation) and their ability to grow and meet customer demands.

So what can managers do about this?
They need to get back to the heart of caring about their people, having conversations, connecting with people, understanding their individual strengths and needs, understanding their motivators, and working with them.

They also need to remember that their job is to lead the people. Too often I see managers that spend most of their time on the technical aspects of the job and not on the leadership parts. Leading the team, giving them feedback, coaching them to develop and improve, providing clarity and expectations, plus holding them accountable for those expectations, celebrating achievements and helping them do better – this is what the majority of the role needs to be about.
If leaders, if managers, get back to focusing on the people they lead as the core part of their role we can shift this statistic of 70% – of the majority of people – who are not engaged in their roles, and we’ll then see a flow on effect to not just the performance of organisations but to communities and people in whole.

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