skip to main content

Element 2 Materials and Equipment

Explore Gallup's research.

Remote workers can feel lonely and isolated, but it's not typical and it is preventable if leaders and managers focus on supporting their engagement.

Worker burnout and stress cost German employers more than 9 billion euros in lost productivity annually.

Large organizations tend to have lower employee engagement levels than small businesses.

Burnout affects an estimated 2.7 million German employees. Better managers are the key to preventing this feeling.

35% of U.S. Managers Are Engaged in Their Jobs

How does employee engagement move through an organization? Does it begin in the executive suite and move down through managers to frontline workers? Or does it come from all different directions? Gallup researchers set out to tackle these essential leadership questions.

Productivity can't get off the ground if employees don't have the right materials and equipment, according to a Gallup study of millions of workers. The authors of the New York Times bestseller 12: The Elements of Great Managing explore this particular management element in depth.

A manager at Owens Corning's Rio Claro, Brazil, facility knows that equipping his employees with what they need leads to many benefits, not the least of which is worker safety, comfort, and productivity. But it also instills team spirit. In fact, the Rio Claro facility is emblematic of one of the key elements revealed in the recently published New York Times bestseller, 12: The Elements of Great Managing.

We all know that workplace stress is hard on our health. But recent research suggests it can actually be deadly. In this interview, a leading expert on workplace management and well-being reveals some astonishing findings, including this one: Workplace stress apparently can be linked to heart disease -- the number-one cause of death in Americans over 35.

The speedy and exhausting launch of a huge new Cabela's store could have destroyed the morale of its employees. But an exceptionally inspiring manager connected those employees to the store's mission, and the team overcame staggering challenges. They even gracefully handled a surprise visit from President Bush.

Dietitians at St. Mary's/Duluth Clinic Health System were at a crossroads. Their team didn't have enough people and felt ignored. Their workspace was "dismal." A few were quietly threatening to resign. Here's how one manager attacked this problem and raised employee engagement from average to extraordinary -- in just a year.

Some managers inspire excellence. Some inspire loyalty. But a very few, such as Diane Marinacci at the federal General Services Administration, inspire people to the highest quality of work, the sincerest forms of loyalty, and passionate engagement. Find out what makes Marinacci so special, and successful.

As more Thai firms try to compete in the global market, they learn that the quality of their people is critical to winning business. Those firms often start by asking "How do we select talented employees?" But a smarter question would be "How can we keep our talented employees?" -- because the financial implications of losing a single talented worker are enormous.

A survey of German employees last summer revealed that a staggering 69% are profoundly disconnected from their work -- a surprise, since German workers are highly skilled and generously compensated, and they produce some of the best products in the world. What accounts for the low German engagement? And what can be done to improve it?

Five years ago The Gallup Organization decided to create a better feedback process for employers large and small. The primary goal was to identify and measure the elements of worker engagement that are most powerfully linked to improved business outcomes -- be they sales growth, productivity, customer loyalty, and so forth -- and the generation of value. The result was a 12-question survey in which employees are asked to rate their response to each question on a scale of one to five.

We have all been in the frustrating position of facing an expectation without having the tools necessary to achieve it. For employees, the importance of having the materials and equipment they need to do their jobs right is one of the 12 key discoveries from a multiyear research effort by The Gallup Organization.