What is Employee Engagement?
Employee engagement is measured by the level of passion employees have for their jobs, commitment to organizational goals, and how much extra effort they choose to put into their work.
Most people may believe that activities, events, and the occasional bonus would lead to satisfaction which would then further lead to more engagement. However, employee satisfaction is not the same as employee engagement. Some people may be satisfied to put in as little work as possible to earn their paycheck, but an engaged employee sees the company as a garden to be nurtured.
Why is it important for employees to feel engaged?
Improving employee engagement may seem like a daunting task when companies are already so busy putting out fires, cleaning up the past, and planning for the future. However, what companies fail to realize is that employee engagement is usually the determining factor of a company’s development and profitability.
The latest Gallup reports show that in 2021, about 39% of US employees are actively engaged in their workplace. The companies who have such an engagement rate truly reap their rewards with 17% higher productivity rate and 21% higher profitability compared to similar companies. Companies with lower engagement rates find themselves losing $450-$550 billion every year due to lack of motivation and responsibility which results in lower productivity, poor customer service, and missed deadlines. Disengaged employees also create higher turnover rates which force companies into costly recruitment/training cycles.
How a Vulnerable Leader helps employees feel engaged.
‘Vulnerable’ and ‘leader’ are two words that aren’t often paired together as they represent completely different meanings. A leader is usually seen as the go-to person for direction and their charisma is what brings people together to work toward a common goal. However, the old belief that a leader needs to be detached and stoic to make objective decisions is just not true.
As workplace culture and expectations continue to evolve, the benefits of leadership vulnerability become more apparent. Instead of making others feel like the boss is untouchable, projecting a more accessible approach inspires workers to be more engaged. An effective leader creates momentum and changes through influence, not through fear.
John Maxwell writes about how the key elements of leadership influence are trust and vulnerability. And building trust starts with being vulnerable. To admit our faults, accept our inadequacies, and have the courage to show up for others shows people we are focused on their success and well-being. When a leader is seen as being invested in the success of others, it is much easier for the team to be invested in the success of the company.
This open culture demonstrated by leaders fosters an atmosphere of safety where innovation and creativity can thrive. Inspired and passionate employees working collaboratively toward the same goal create a sense of interconnectedness. This interconnectedness brings more cooperation, more vulnerability and the cycle continues.
There is no doubt most employees want to be engaged in their work. We want to feel a part of something greater than ourselves where we can have influence, feel appreciated, and connected. Vulnerable leadership is the tool that makes this connection possible.
Alan Carroll & Associates has been a global leader in professional communication skills for over 30 years. To learn more about our courses, head to ACAmindfulyou.com.