The benefits of Employee Engagement
As the evidence of the positive financial impact of Employee Engagement is becoming evident, CEO’s are increasingly looking to gain competitive advantage through Engagement. The yearly satisfaction survey has not produced actionable output and is used as an excuse for preserving status quo.
The view of people as resources and HR as the factory that processes them, makes it logical to assume that if we don’t have Engaged Employees, then let’s go and recruit some Engaged people.
The assumption that people are either engaged or not, changed the recruitment processes to one of identifying ”highly engaged individuals” and recruiting them. Unfortunately employee engagement is not a characteristic of the employee, it is the strength of the emotional relationship the employee has to one or more actors. This moves the responsibility for engagement from the employee firmly back to the company. If the company accepts this responsibility significant productivity gains are within reach.
The engine of engagement
Many studies have investigated the different drivers of engagement and always the direct manager comes out on top. 70% of the variance in Gallup’s surveys is down to the direct manager. Even in companies that have greedy top managers, a pure exploitation purpose and poor reputation you still have people staying as their direct manager shields them from the corporate evil. The direct manager is responsible for creating a reality for the employees that make them part of something worthwhile and noble and create an environment where they are allowed to participate and grow.
The engaged manager
There are many strategies and behaviours that a manager can use to create engagement, many of them are centred on how you treat, involve and inspire people and if you behave fairly to others. As engagement is an emotional and relational concept it is very difficult to measure. However Gallup uncovered that Engaged managers had a much higher degree of engaged employees – employees working for an Engaged manager is 59% more likely to be engaged.
Are managers engaged?
That an engaged manager creates engaged employees are not a surprise – the number of engaged managers are. Gallup found that only 35% of managers were engaged, this is still significantly higher than the worldwide average of 13% engaged employees and slightly above the US average of 30%. 14% of all managers are actively disengaged.
Although there are both great female and male leaders, Gallup’s research showed that female leaders were more likely to be engaged (41% vs 35%) and their employees were more likely to be engaged.
What about your managers?
The focus of most leadership development is to give the leaders tools to manage their people rather than engage them. What is often forgotten is the process of Engaging the manager, not just developing their leadership skills. How Engaged are your managers? When is sufficient not sufficient anymore?
"Only 35% of Managers are Engaged" Gallup
"70% of Engagement variance is down to the manager" Gallup
"Employees working for an Engaged manager is 59% more likely to be engaged" Gallup