DecisionWise Research Reveals Correlation Between Manager and Employee Engagement Levels

Share Article

Managers play a role in influencing their direct reports’ engagement. Organizations looking to increase engagement need to examine the impact their managers are having on employees.

Distribution of employee engagement scores.

Figure 1: Manager and Team Engagement

Many corporate leaders act under the impression that being engaged at work is solely an individual decision . . . This research contributes to a serious conversation about the impact managers have on employee engagement.

New DecisionWise research shows that the engagement levels of managers are similar to the engagement levels of the teams that they manage. The study was based on a statistical sample population of 9,729 employees taken from a database of 12.3 million employee survey responses. The results of the study show a strong relationship between a manager’s level of engagement and that of his or her direct reports.

“Any correlation between managers’ and employees’ levels of engagement represents a significant finding for the global workforce,” said DecisionWise Director of Client Services, Kristin Chapman, who is leading the research initiative. “Many corporate leaders act under the impression that being engaged at work is solely an individual decision—that external factors do not contribute to personal engagement. This research contributes to a serious conversation about the impact managers have on employee engagement.”

Figure 1 shows the distribution of engagement scores from the research.

In order to conduct the research, DecisionWise identified the engagement levels of individual managers and the teams they manage. Each population is broken into four categories of engagement from Fully Engaged to Fully Disengaged. With the x-axis labeled for manager engagement and the y-axis for team engagement, clear correlations within the data are highlighted. For example, the highest percentage of Fully Engaged employees are led by Fully Engaged managers (38 percent), while the highest percentage of Fully Disengaged employees are led by Fully Disengaged managers (22 percent).

“The most striking data is the strong correlation in the Key Contributor category. Managers who themselves are Key Contributors have teams that are 61-percent composed of Key Contributor employees,” continued Chapman.

Adding to Chapman’s comments, DecisionWise CEO, Dr. Tracy Maylett, said, “We know that employee engagement is first generated by the individual employee; without personally choosing to be engaged, no external factors will increase engagement. However, the data show that managers also play a role in influencing their direct reports’ engagement. Organizations looking to increase engagement need to examine the impact their managers are having on employees.”

DecisionWise, Inc. is a management consulting firm specializing in leadership and organization development using assessments, feedback, coaching and training. DecisionWise services include employee engagement surveys, 360-degree feedback, leadership coaching and organization development. DecisionWise was founded in 1996, is privately held, operates in over 70 countries and conducts surveys in over 30 languages.

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Reese Haydon
DecisionWise, Inc.
(801) 960-1400 Ext: 122
Email >
Follow us on
Visit website