The Simplest Leadership Solution to Employee Engagement
Studies show that the better the leader, the better the employee engagement. Many managers don’t buy this as nearly 9 of 10 employees worldwide are disengaged. With that being said, it’s quite simple… want more engaged employees? Easy! Be a better leader!
I’m not oversimplifying this. That’s really all it takes. Try it and get back to me if it doesn’t work for you. And in fact, if you’re hesitant to give this a go – I’d argue that anyone that thinks this news is “too good to be true,” is really just finding the reason why he doesn’t want to have to be the one to change. That’s the main reason leaders don’t want to believe that this is the solution to the success they want to achieve: they always like to assign their lack of success to the shortcomings of others.
These are the kinds of behavior of an engaged leader that inspires employee involvement:
- Leads with integrity
- Collaborates with the team in team planning
- Treats the team respectfully
- Clarifies expectations and goals
- Listens effectively
- Communicates in regular meetings
- Recognizes and rewards the team
- Seeks continuous improvement
- Coaches regularly
- Provides on-going training
Actions like these creating a trusting relationship, team ownership and working partnership with employees.
The Employee Engagement Payoff
Now, let me share two stats with you that is guaranteed to get your attention. Gallup – one of the leading research-based organizations – did studies to determine in what ways employee engagement works to the employers’ advantage. As we would hope to find, Gallup discovered that high employee engagement resulted in better productivity, better retention, better results, more customer focus, and safer working environments. They also put together an employee-engagement ratio, “an indicator of an organization’s health… to track the proportion of engaged to actively engaged employees.” The results? Incredible.
- “In world-class organizations, the ratio of engaged to actively disengaged employees is 9.57:1.”
- “In average organizations, the ratio of engaged to actively disengaged employees is 1.83:1.”
This just provides further evidence that employee engagement MATTERS, and therefore, exceptional leadership MATTERS. All too often, poor employee engagement gets attributed to the wrong things – so leaders and corporations spend time and money on all sorts of wasteful efforts – and don’t see any results. They might notice a short-term surge of energy and excitement, but nothing sustainable or successful in the long-term. And this just creates a perpetual cycle of pointless attempts. Things happen in the short-term, leaders keep trying that strategy, but the excitement wears – and before you know it, the business is back to where it began: in rough shape, with employees that feel removed from it all. Also, leaders feel lost and frustrated – uncertain as to why company strategies suddenly stopped working and annoyed that their employees just don’t get it.
I don’t need to tell you what that sort of disappointment does to a team environment and productivity: you know it’s not pretty. And here begins the ugly routine, otherwise known as the average workplace.
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