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Looking for Employee Engagement - Managers are the Key!

employee engagement managerdevelopment managereffectiveness workplace Jun 20, 2024

 Theresia Intag, Co-Founder of Tag4HR and Founder of IntagHire


Looking for Employee Engagement – Managers are the key!

In today's dynamic business landscape, one crucial element often overlooked is the role of managers in shaping the workplace environment. Effective management is not just about meeting deadlines and achieving targets; it's about fostering an environment where employees feel engaged, valued, and motivated. According to the Gallup State of the Global Workplace: The Voice of the World’s Employees, a staggering 70% of the variance in team engagement can be attributed to the manager. This statistic underscores the profound impact managers have on their teams and highlights the importance of selecting the right individuals for these pivotal roles.

The Manager-Employee Engagement Connection

Engagement is a critical factor in employee performance and retention. Engaged employees are more productive, more likely to stay with their company, and more likely to contribute positively to the workplace culture. Conversely, disengaged employees can hinder progress, reduce morale, and increase turnover rates. The Gallup research reveals that the manager's influence on engagement is more significant than any other factor, including organizational policies, employee perks, and even salary.

The Impact of Employee Engagement on Business

The impact of employee engagement on business performance is substantial. Gallup’s research indicates that highly engaged business units achieve:

  • 10% greater customer loyalty/engagement
  • 17% higher productivity (sales)
  • 23% greater profitability
  • 78% lower absenteeism
  • 30% fewer quality defects

These statistics highlight that engaged employees not only perform better but also contribute to a more efficient and productive work environment.

But what makes a manager effective in fostering engagement?

Here are some key traits and practices that distinguish successful managers:

  1. Empathy and Understanding

Great managers understand that their employees are individuals with unique needs, strengths, and challenges. They take the time to listen and show genuine concern for their team members' well-being. Empathy helps in building trust and rapport, making employees feel valued and understood.

  1. Clear Communication

Effective communication is vital in any managerial role. Managers must be able to clearly convey expectations, provide constructive feedback, and facilitate open dialogue. Clear communication helps prevent misunderstandings and ensures that everyone is on the same page.

  1. Support and Development

Employees need to feel that their growth and development are priorities for their managers. This includes providing opportunities for learning, offering mentorship, and supporting career advancement. When employees see that their managers are invested in their development, they are more likely to stay engaged and motivated.

  1. Recognition and Appreciation

Acknowledging and appreciating employees' hard work and achievements can significantly boost morale and engagement. Regular recognition, whether through formal awards or simple words of appreciation, can make employees feel valued and encouraged to continue performing at their best.

  1. Adaptability and Problem-Solving

The ability to adapt to changing circumstances and solve problems effectively is crucial for any manager. In today’s fast-paced work environment, managers must be able to navigate challenges and provide solutions that keep their teams moving forward.

The Cost of Poor Management

The consequences of poor management can be severe. According to Gallup, disengaged employees are more likely to leave their jobs, leading to high turnover rates and increased recruitment costs. Additionally, teams led by ineffective managers often underperform, impacting the overall productivity and profitability of the organization.

Choosing the Right Managers

Given the significant impact managers have on employee engagement, it’s essential to carefully select individuals for these roles. Here are some strategies to ensure you have the right managers for your employees:

  1. Assess Leadership Potential

When considering candidates for managerial positions, look beyond their technical skills and assess their leadership potential. This includes their ability to inspire and motivate others, handle conflict, and lead by example.

  1. Provide Training and Development

Invest in training and development programs that equip managers with the necessary skills to lead effectively. Continuous learning opportunities can help managers stay updated with best practices and improve their leadership capabilities.

  1. Evaluate Performance Regularly

Regular performance evaluations can help identify areas where managers excel and areas that need improvement. Use these evaluations to provide constructive feedback and set goals for development.

  1. Encourage a Feedback Culture

Create a culture where feedback is encouraged and valued. Encourage employees to share their experiences and provide feedback on their managers. This can offer valuable insights into managerial effectiveness and areas for improvement.


Managers play a pivotal role in shaping the workplace environment and driving employee engagement. As highlighted by Gallup’s research, the impact of managers on team engagement cannot be overstated. By selecting the right individuals for managerial roles and investing in their development, organizations can create a positive, productive, and engaging work environment that benefits both employees and the organization as a whole.

Investing in effective management is not just a strategic move; it’s a necessity in today’s competitive business landscape. Do you have the right managers for your employees? The answer to this question could be the key to unlocking your team’s full potential and driving long-term success.



Gallup, State of the Global Workplace: The Voice of the World’s Employees, link.

Gallup, The Relationship Between Engagement at Work and Organizational Outcomes, link.