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  • Writer's pictureCarole Stizza

Disengaged Managers Make Disengaged Employees: Why Leadership Strengths Matter

Updated: May 31, 2021

It is no surprise that there are significant differences between good and bad managers. Often, your first job may be with a bad manager instead of a good manager. This can put a unique spin on how you view management for a long time.

MY FIRST BAD MANAGER… AND MY FIRST GOOD MANAGER Ironically, my first manager was my dad. Because he was my dad, I had faith this would be positive experience in the work world. Nope! He was temperamental, disorganized, and would blow up at whoever was in his presence when things didn’t go his way (regardless of where the fault originated). I was shocked to experience the difference between the parental relationship and the work relationship. Imagine my surprise when I experienced my first great manager! Wow – I was elated! I looked at work completely differently! The first impressions, however, still lingered and it took several positive managers to wipe out my first bad experience with a manager.

THE LARGEST DIFFERENCES BETWEEN GOOD AND BAD MANAGERS The largest difference between good or bad management, Forbes observes, lies in how the manager treats those he or she leads. It’s a simple concept that many bad managers fail to grasp. Employees like to be valued, to be given the freedom to try out new ideas, to have some level of autonomy to produce good work, to be trusted to do their job, and to bond with their peers in an environment of trust. When these elements are challenged, compromised, or destroyed by poor managers, employees become disengaged or leave too fast to remedy the situation.

If you are seeing disengaged employees, you may also have disengaged managers. How are the managers in your organization treating your employees? Do you, as an employee, feel like your performance goals are valued and respected? If not, you may be dealing with a disengaged manager.

THE HARM OF DISENGAGED MANAGERS Gallup reveals that, in a study of over 2,500 managers, over half (51%) reported being disengaged at work, while 14% were actively NOT engaged at all. The 51% disengaged at work is estimated to cost $77 to $96 billion annually through their impact on those they manage, while the 14% actively NOT engaged more than quadruple those costs to $319 to $398 billion. Solving the problem of disengaged managers would positively affect our profit margins within the U.S. economy and provide a drastic increase in engaged employees and managers. So how do you make sure your managers are actively engaged in their work?

THE GOOD NEWS! Just like engaged managers create more engaged employees, engaged organizational leadership inspires engaged managers. Out of 190 companies Gallup studied, engagement data revealed that when managers have highly engaged leaders themselves, they are 39% more likely to actively engaged at work. When this occurs, there is a positive ripple effect, creating 59% more engaged employees.

  • Absenteeism decreases by 37%

  • Turnovers decrease between 25-65% depending upon the industry

  • Shrinkage decreases by 28%

  • Safety issues decrease by 48%

  • Patient safety issues in medical facilities by 41%

  • Quality (in relation to defects) increased by 41%

  • Resulting in customer ratings improving by 10%

  • Productivity increasing by 21%

  • Profitability increasing by 22%

LEADERSHIP STRENGTHS MATTER! If leaders are this influential from the top down, why does learning strengths on the managerial level matter? Leaders who communicate and put learning and development as a top priority are those who influence engaged managers with the greatest success. When known, managerial strengths allow engaged leaders to mold a manager’s role that is optimized to their strengths. Managers, in turn, are able to build and lead teams of employees whose individual strengths are balanced and managed well. Without knowing those strengths, organizational structure is left to guesswork, which doesn’t work, and hoping and wishing for a good outcome, which is not a successful strategy. To know how to optimize your innate strengths, take advantage of assessments that solidify what your instincts have indicated with data from over half a decade of intense validation.

To learn more about these findings, click here to read the full report from Gallup. Register Now!

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