Why Effective Leaders Make Employee Engagement A Daily Priority

People SkillsWhen considering employee engagement, on the surface it can be viewed as a necessary task that leaders should carry out to develop and retain their staff. Whilst that is a big aspect of daily employee engagement, there is a huge payback in terms of facilitating effective leadership. There are also many leaders still not capitalising on the currency of employee engagement. Our ways of working and the business landscape have shifted dramatically in the last couple of years and talent shortages and retention issues for companies are symptom of that change.

What does employee engagement look like?
If you are in a business where you feel both valued and challenged then that is a sign of the leadership team engaging with you. When your leadership team has a dialogue with you that encourages individual growth, training, and development then that is evidence of effective leadership. You should be able to discern a tangible sense that your leaders are committed to creating opportunities for you within the business. An open flexible dialogue will exist that looks upon your capabilities in a positive way, therefore your business has effective leaders that are engaging with you.

How can you tell if you are engaged?
As an employee if you have a clear sense of the business goals and where you fit, it is likely your leadership team have effectively engaged with you.

You are willing to go the extra mile to ensure customer satisfaction and make the organisation a success and are an enthusiastic member of your team. You genuinely care about your colleagues and your role, and your focus is a line with the company’s goals because of that engagement. An engaged employee is motivated to help and committed to the overall purpose of your business.

On the other hand, if you are only partially engaged then likely you do the minimum to get by, concentrate on the job at hand and add little extra value. When you are a disengaged employee then you will behave negatively, find your workplace upsetting and are irritated merely by having to show up for work.

The importance of leaders in employee engagement

The role a leader plays in employee engagement is pivotal. Our research has shown that of the 3 main drivers of employee engagement, 2 of those are directly linked to the leadership team:

  • Relationship with immediate supervisor
  • Belief in senior leadership
  • Pride in working for the company

When Dale Carnegie did a survey to examine what drives employee engagement we discovered that only 30% of all employees are fully engaged, while a staggering 19% are actively disengaged.

Disengaged employees undermine the accomplishments of others and have the potential to create a toxic atmosphere in the workplace which will impact productivity and ultimately the bottom line. The only way to manage this is through effective leadership forming strong working relationships built on trust and respect. When leaders work on increasing their confidence and competence and learn how to interact and engage their team not only do they evolve professionally, there is much evidence to show that the business increases their profits.

Why is daily engagement effective?
When daily engagement with employees is considered and planned in, businesses build a culture where their employees will go over and above for the leadership team. Employers who report that they engage employees every day are far more likely to describe a climate where the team are willing to do whatever it takes to get work done. The same group of people who engage employees daily also enjoy much better retention rates and lower staff turnover of the groups within their organisation.

Employee engagement as a strategy
In a business it’s often quite evident where there are clear and visible strategies such as sales, marketing, and productivity. If your organisation doesn’t have an obvious and visible employee engagement strategy, then this can quickly become a problem. There is much evidence that effective employee engagement has financial benefits for businesses. It might be that leaders are willing to engage but perhaps don’t appreciate that this is a training need and something to be developed. There are big payoffs to employee engagement for leaders:

  • A productive team
  • Reduced stress
  • Increase job satisfaction
  • Lower staff absence
  • More effective leadership.

If you’re in an organisation where employee engagement isn’t working, how can you communicate the importance of this for your individual development? Ultimately, we are working with human beings, it’s not a weakness to flag up that you need deeper sense of understanding where you fit with the business and communication lines that are open daily. Disengaged employees quickly exhibit signs of stress and worry which is turn impacts staff retention and ultimately profitability.

Effective leaders make employee engagement a daily priority

We all work because we have a financial need, but leadership now must look beyond a simple bonus or financial incentive to retain talent and appease discontent. Much has changed within the working landscape now and job satisfaction is not all about pay, there are facets to being happy in your work that go far beyond numbers that can only be discerned through effective daily engagement. There is much evidence to show that leaders are the main drivers of employee engagement and those that make this a daily priority reap the rewards.