Manager EngagementDespite the importance of good managers to a company’s success, just 35% of U.S. managers are engaged in their jobs, a new study has found.

The Gallup study showed 51% of U.S. managers are not engaged, while 14% are actively disengaged.

The results can have disastrous effects on the nation’s prosperity, with the “not engaged’’ group costing $77 billion to $96 billion annually in lost productivity and other impacts.

Factor in the “actively disengaged’’ group, and the numbers increase to $319 billion to $398 billion a year.

The report, titled “State of the American Manager: Analytics and Advice for Leaders,” revealed that while managers are charged with motivating their employees, about half (51%) of managers have “checked out,’’ meaning they don’t care about their job and what happens to their company.

Not surprisingly, employees are as equally disengaged as employers, a trend that has stead steady for more than a decade.

Gallup’s 2013 State of the American Workplace report found that less than one-third of U.S. workers are engaged (30%) compared with 52% who are not engaged and 18% who actively don’t care about their jobs.

Disengaged managers create disengaged workers, a term Gallup refers to as the “cascade effect.’’ Basically, because workers are influenced by their boss’ engagement, if a supervisor isn’t interested, then his or her workers won’t be, either.

The study showed that when managers work under supervisors and leaders who are very engaged, they are 39% more likely to have higher engagement levels than those who are led by teams that are not engaged.

The higher engagement isn’t just important for managers, as employees who work under a leadership team with high engagement are 59% more likely to have high engagement.

The April survey of 2,564 managers revealed having an engaged workplace helps a business’ bottom line.

Engaged workers are the most likely to be innovative, leading to increased revenue and growth. Based on the study’s findings, Gallup said business leaders should focus on ways to strengthen their managers’ engagement, which, in turn, would boost the engagement of employees.

Among the suggested actions: Clearly and consistently communicate the company’s history and where it’s going; prioritize learning and development at all levels; and emphasize managers’ strengths based on their natural talents.

In the end, companies need their management teams to be engaged if they want a better chance of employee engagement.

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