Article -> Engaged Leaders Create Engaged Employees
Date Added: January 2007
There has been a tremendous amount of energy dedicated to creating employee engagement within organizations. Engagement is not just a trendy buzz word that is likely to disappear. Engagement, particularly employee engagement, should be understood as a business concept that is worthy of organizational leaders’ attention. Creating employee engagement is just as important to an organization’s success as the quality of its products and/or services.
If you don’t believe that engaging employees in your organization is important, then you are greatly mistaken and misinformed. Research has shown that 22% of highly engaged employees indicate they are less likely to leave their organization, while 55% of disengaged employees expressed the same opinion.1 Engaging employees in your business strategy, as well as your daily functions, is increasingly important as organizations fight to remain competitive in an ever-evolving marketplace.
Engaging employees begins and ends with your leaders. If leaders do not embody the characteristics identifiable in “engaged” employees, how can they expect employees to be engaged themselves? Leaders must continuously work hard to create an engaged workforce. Leaders must embrace five identifiable objectives to create highly engaged employees:1
- Align efforts with strategy
- Empower employees
- Promote and encourage teamwork and collaboration
- Help employees grow and develop
- Provide support and recognition when appropriate
Leaders who adhere to these principles will find the more they engage employees, the more engaged employees will align themselves with the organization and help improve its bottom line. This alignment ultimately will increase the organizational productivity and profitability.
Leaders clearly play an important role in creating engaged employees. Equally important is creating a selection system within an organization, placing the right people in the right jobs. When employees are placed in jobs where they routinely utilize their skills and natural abilities on the job, they find it easy to be engaged.
When employees’ knowledge and skills are directly related to their job function, they are more likely to be personally and professionally engaged. Conversely, when employees are in a position where they are not able to use their skills and abilities, they may become frustrated with their job, and in turn, become disengaged.
Actively working to engage employees is something leaders and organizations must strive to achieve. Engaged employees will not only commit to the organization; engaged employees will take pride in their work, put forth more effort in daily tasks and perform at higher levels. All of these are advantages to help your organization in the long run. They will facilitate an environment where increased profitability and productivity are directly related to the commitment of leaders and employees alike.
1“Driving Employee Engagement.” DDI’s Position and Approach: Whitepaper.