Gallup Says Managers From Hell are Costing You Billions

employee_engagementManagers from hell are the reason your top employees hate their job. Recent Gallup research shows that these managers are responsible for actively disengaging employees, costing the U.S. an estimated $450 billion to $550 billion annually. You read that right—bad managers are catastrophic for businesses.

Only 30 percent of Americans with full-time jobs are engaged. This means the remaining 70 percent of the working population is disengaged, with 20 percent of that group who are actively disengaged.

This epidemic of disengagement stems from poor management. When employees don’t feel like they are part of the bigger picture or cannot understand how their daily contributions impact business success, they are more likely to be disengaged. Bad managers tend to abstain from giving positive feedback or constructive criticism to help employees improve. Many managers don’t see the value in helping their employees succeed.  Why? Because most managers lack the right tools and insight to get the most out of their teams and align them with business objectives.

Gallup also stresses that engagement makes a difference to the bottom line, with managers and leaders playing a critical role in driving business success. Managers who focus on their employees’ strengths can see results that are double the average of U.S. workers who are engaged nationwide.

However, the right employee engagement strategy is not completely cut and dry. Employees come in all multi-generational shapes and sizes, figuratively speaking, from blue collar factory workers to call center representatives—and they all need different types of engagement strategies. For instance, women have slightly higher overall engagement then men, and Millennials are most likely of all generations to leave their jobs inside of 12 months. Your strategy must address a variety of workforce differences and challenges.

Most interesting, Gallup found that employees with a college degree are not as likely as those with less education to report having a positive, engaging workplace experience. Clearly, highly-educated employees require more employer involvement than the average person to stay engaged.

Finally, engagement has a greater impact on performance than corporate perks. When employees are engaged, they are much more likely to drive strong business performance and have a positive connection with their workplace.

So what can your company do to improve employee engagement? Start with your managers. It’s important to select the right managers from the start. Coach managers and help them understand why employee engagement is essential to business success—and hold them accountable. Lastly, find ways to connect with employees on an individual level. They are human beings after all, not robots.

To read more about employee engagement and the manager’s role in driving business success, check out the Guide to Recognition.

What do you think about the findings summarized above? Do you believe managers from hell are destroying employee engagement? Leave a comment below and join the discussion.

State of the American Workplace: Employee Engagement Insights for U.S. Business Leaders. Gallup. Web. 20 Jun 2013.

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Achievers Employee Success Platform delivers proven employee recognition, continuous listening tools and timely coaching tips for organizations to give their people ownership of the employee experience and to drive organizational success. To learn more, visit


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