Simply put, managers drive employee engagement, which drives business results.
Being a leadership and career development enthusiast, I naturally find myself drawn to research and strategies to improve employee engagement. I have seen first-hand that it drives business results by lowering turnover, boosting productivity, and enhancing quality. In fact, a recent study shared by Bluebridge, a technology company focused on tools to improve employee engagement, indicates higher engagement drives 22% higher productivity, 50% lower turnover rates, and 3x more in profit margin. Another organization, FirstPerson, who helps organizations design meaningful employment experiences, recently shared this video to illustrate this clear need. Other smart organizations like Gallup have been measuring engagement for years. And, it remains stagnant in the U.S., hovering around 32% according in the most recent Gallup study. In this report, Gallup recommends that “organizations approach employee engagement as an ongoing human capital strategy and consider all of the elements that matter in performance management – from leadership accountability and manager education to clear role expectations and employee development opportunities.”
Further research indicates similar strategies. If you search the term “employee engagement,” you will likely get articles with a titles such as – “7 ways to engage your employees” – with similar recipes. The ingredients go something like this: create a team culture, require individual development plans, foster work/life balance with telecommute opportunities, provide real time feedback, hire talented managers, etc. The list goes on. While all of these approaches have significant merit, these one-size fits all strategies do not work. Why? At the risk of stating the obvious, all organizations and teams are not created equal.