According to the Gallup figures on Employee Engagement, they claim that 67.4 percent of employees are disengaged or actively disengaged and that this cost the US between $450-550Billion per year.

Given that the US has 125 million employees that means that the average cost per disengaged employee is between $4500-$5500 per year.

The biggest impact on an employee's engagement is their direct manager and the relationship that they have with them.

Whether or not they feel respected, get feedback, or feel that their manager take care of them, all of these things have a significant impact on the employee and their engagement, and everyone one of these are driven by the level of EQ hat a manager has.

The lower a manager's EQ, the higher the level of disengaged staff and the higher the cost to the company is going to be. It's that simple.

With the figure for employee engagement at its highest level for years at 32.6%, it seems that some companies are getting the message. Improve your manager's EQ and improve financial performance, but it still looks like there is a long way to go.

So what can your company do to improve the EQ of your managers?

  • The easiest approach is to promote people into management positions with good EQ in the first place. Identify people with good EQ, and look to give them opportunities to lead.
  • Provide training on EQ to all of your managers. EQ can be learned, and with practice, most people will improve.
  • Promote the importance of EQ and increase awareness of the benefits of good EQ.
  • Reward and recognize managers who exhibit good EQ, this will encourage them to continue and will also highlight good role models for others to copy.
  • Model great EQ yourselves. Leadership defines culture, and that's as true for EQ has anything else. When people see a CEO or Senior Leadership team which as great empathy, self-awareness, and that looks to build strong relationships with the teams and colleagues it will not only inspire them to become engaged; it will also encourage them to follow suit.
  • Replace those managers that have low EQ and who are reluctant to change. The impact of bad managers should never be underestimated, not only does it lead to disengagement within their team, but it also shows that the company is tolerant of this type of manager which can then spread disengagement to other areas.

As markets become more competitive, and profits become tighter, the impact of employee engagement on the bottom line will become more and more important. It will be those companies who focus on improving the level of EQ within their management teams that will be well-positioned attract, retain and engage the best employees to take advantage of the opportunities in this area.

What will your company do to look to improve its management EQ?

Published on: Aug 15, 2016
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.