Did you know that managers are responsible for 70% of the variance in employee engagement? The impact of that statistic cuts both ways. It means a good boss helps create a healthy, productive work environment and a not-so-good manager can cause direct reports to dread each day. Everyone wants employees to start the day with the drive to perform at the highest level, not just punch a time card – literally or figuratively – and go through the motions.
The good news is that leadership can establish the type of culture that produces engaged and motivated employees. Upper management sets the tone, so a culture of engagement starts at the top and is filtered through to front line staff.
According to Gallup, the three essential behaviors for leading the way in creating engagement are:
- Respect – Acknowledging all staff members and their individual opinions, concerns, ideas and contributions, is the foundation of a positive work culture. Feeling as though you’re nothing more than a nameless, faceless worker bee with nothing substantial to contribute is definitely not motivational. Those folks soon check out.
- Communication – Effective and consistent communication is vital to creating a thriving culture of engagement. Being tight-lipped about reasons a change is being implemented – big or small – can make the transition difficult. Keeping employees in the know garners buy-in even if they don’t 100% agree with the decision.
- Accountability – Setting clear expectations and performance standards and sharing them with everyone in the organization levels the playing field. The key is to adhere to those standards across the board, which makes accountability feel less threatening and punitive. Also, by sharing that information, frustration is decreased, because every person and department knows what to expect from one another.
Taking ownership for workplace culture is the first step. The next three – respect, communication and accountability – should be incorporated into your daily best practices, no matter what your title or leadership role may be. Following these three must-dos is not only the right thing to do. These behaviors will produce more engaged employees and thus better results.
How do you show, or know, that employee engagement is a top priority at your organization? Share below or send us a message.