(From Gallup Business Journal) -- Just 15 percent of workers in Germany are engaged with their jobs, while 61 percent are not engaged and 24 percent are actively disengaged, according to Gallup Daily tracking. Gallup estimates that actively disengaged employees cost the economy between 112 billion and 138 billion euros ($146 billion to $179 billion) per year in lost productivity.

Particularly worrisome is that the trend shows no sign of improvement. Gallup's analysis reveals that the percentage of German employees who are engaged is roughly the same now as it was in the past. But the percentage of actively disengaged employees has increased from 15 percent in 2001 to 24 percent in 2012—indicating a deterioration of the working environment due to poorer management.

Businesses must understand the key role managers play in increasing engagement by addressing employees' most crucial needs and expectations. In fact, the most important decision a company's leadership makes is who it names as managers.

Read more.