The evidence is overwhelming that there continues to be a Leadership Crisis. As exemplified by the table below, it’s worse in some geographical areas than others, but it’s still an unacceptable fact that less than 30% of employees are engaged in the workplace.
Employee Engagement is proportional to Quality of Leadership
“The buck stops here“, popularized by US president Harry Truman, must be the guiding principle for anyone in a leadership role. As a leader, you hire, develop, performance plan & fire employees. You have a voice at the leadership table to influence changes in an organization that will either increase or decrease employee engagement. If you have unengaged employees in your workforce, ultimately, who’s fault is it but your own. What are you waiting for?
Inaction will only make it worse
When you have uncertainty in your head, is your tendency to think about the most positive outcomes or the worse? Most of us will think of the worse initially, and then spiral down a rabbit hole unless we or someone stops ourselves. It’s a human characteristic, part of negative bias, the psychological phenomenon by which humans have a greater recall of unpleasant memories compared with positive memories. Humans are much more likely to recall and be influenced by the negative experiences.
As outlined in Scaling Up Excellence, this in part also explains why bad behavior can be stronger than good, longer lasting, more contagious & more difficult to stop. As the solid red lines above show, with inactivity, there is a higher likelihood that the disengaged will move toward Actively Disengaged before they will leave your organization. Worse, the wrong leadership activity will accelerate the migration toward Actively Disengaged, and once out of your organization, these people will remain vocal toxins toward your organization’s’ reputation.
Employee Engagement Defined
I share in the BlessingWhite descriptive that aligning employees’ values, goals, and aspirations with those of the organization is the best method for achieving the sustainable employee engagement required for an organization to thrive. Full engagement represents an alignment of maximum job satisfaction (“I like my work and do it well”) with maximum job contribution (“I help achieve the goals of my organization”).
Engaged Employee; one who is fully absorbed by and enthusiastic about their work and so takes positive action to further the organization’s reputation and interests. Performs 20% better and are 87% less likely to leave the organization. Organizations with engaged employees are up to 43% more productive. And remember, you can get Accountability without having Engagement first!
Disengaged Employee; aren’t necessarily bad employees, but they just do what’s necessary to get their jobs done. They typically don’t take part in offering suggestions for improving the workplace, usually don’t stay at work late if it’s not required, and they don’t give their jobs much thought after they finish a workday.
Actively Disengaged Employee; the workers who undermine their jobs and employers. Actively disengaged employees can sink employee morale and performance. They drag themselves through their day, contributing the bare minimum and often detracting from the work of their peers with negative comments or an overwhelming pessimism that is energy draining. This pessimism is so toxic that it affects not only co-workers, but customers as well, driving away potential business and harming previously solid customer relationships. Research has shown that employee disengagement in the United States adds up to approximately $350 billion dollars per year of lost productivity.
How to avoid it / How to fix it
Starting with the attributes of Exemplary Leadership® that dotted green line above will grow solid, bold, augmented & super accelerated. It will also increase the speed of voluntary (healthy) turnover in your organization. There’s already so much written about “exemplary leadership” that I’ll just leave you with the following challenge of honest & transparent introspection & self evaluation.
How are you, and or the leaders in your organization..
- Modeling the Way?
- Inspiring a Shared Vision?
- Challenging the Process?
- Enabling Others to Act?
- Encouraging the Heart?
And what do these phrases mean to you & your organization in particular? Send me an email inquiry and I’ll be more than happy to get on the phone with you for a quick 30m evaluation of your conclusions, as well as what you can do next to immediately improve your situation.