In last week’s article I established the fact that we need better, more effective leadership in our daily lives. What’s exactly at stake here though? What’s the opportunity that better leadership represents?
There are at least three compelling reasons to lift the bar – improving engagement, enabling transformation, and lifting performance. I’ll examine why leadership is important to each of these outcomes over the coming weeks. Let's start this week with the critical relationship between employee engagement and leadership, and why connecting team member efforts to the work they do is one of the most critical moments that leadership is needed.
ENGAGEMENT AND LEADERSHIP
We all desire to live fulfilling and satisfied lives, especially at work which is where many of us spend the majority of our waking hours and much of our adult lives. Yet in a recent Gallup State of the American Workplace report, researchers found that only 30 per cent of employees in the United States reported being engaged and inspired at work, while a further 20 per cent of people reported feeling actively disengaged, even going out of their way to resist and sabotage the efforts of their leaders.
This state of affairs is not restricted to the United States. A further Gallup study across 142 countries – including Australia - suggests that engagement may be worse elsewhere, with only 13 per cent of employees in the study actively engaged and 24 per cent actively disengaged.
We know that leadership, by far, is the number one factor that influences how engaged employees are at work.
A 2015 Harvard Business Review article reported that leaders account for as much as 70 per cent variance in employee engagement scores. So it’s reasonable to assume that the blame for this widespread disengagement must lay heavily with poorer-quality leadership behaviour that people are experiencing.
the benefits of better engagement & satisfaction
It’s obvious that if we can improve the quality of leadership that we experience, we can increase our personal satisfaction, along with a whole host of hard benefits that come from better engagement, which include:
● Engaged teams and their organisations produce better performance more sustainably, with the global consultancy Aon Hewitt reporting that companies with the top 25 per cent of engagement scores have 50 per cent higher shareholder return.
● Engaged employees experience 18 percent higher productivity and 60 percent higher quality than disengaged employees according to Insync Surveys, a leading research and measurement firm.
● A whopping 1,000 per cent decrease in errors being seen among engaged versus disengaged employees in Fortune 100 companies.
These are just some of the benefits of better employee engagement I share in my book Xtraordinary: The Art and Science of Remarkable Leadership, where I also show how your very success as a leader is dependent on the engagement levels you are able to cultivate.
It's a compelling connection between better leadership and team member engagement. Without question, there are benefits for everyone when more extraordinary leaders help cultivate higher levels of true employee engagement.