If you think employee engagement is one of those warm and fuzzy phrases found in the self-help aisle, think again. According to new research, not only should you be taking employee engagement seriously, it’s probably already a problem within your company. And you might be to blame.
A recent study by Dale Carnegie and MSW Research polled a national representative sample of 1,500 employees across a wide range of industries and found only 29% of respondents to be fully engaged.
Disengaged employees clocked in at 26% and a majority of workers fell somewhere in-between (ie putting in the minimal amount of effort to achieve expected results.) That means nearly half of employees aren’t really into their jobs. This adds up to literally billions in losses--the Bureau of National Affairs estimates that U.S. businesses lose $11 billion annually due to employee turnover.
Interestingly, in most cases, the study found engagement is most affected by an employee’s relationship with his or her immediate supervisor.
This is good news; management style is, after all, something that can be changed.
“It’s not a certain style or specific traits that make a successful manager, but a set of behaviors,” Kevin Kruse, entrepreneur and author of Employee Engagement 2.0, told Inc. in an email message. “If you want to drive employee engagement, you need to hire managers who communicate well and are able to create a culture of growth, recognition and trust.”
In other words, successful management isn’t about personality; it’s about results.
“It doesn’t matter if managers are introverted or extroverted, timid or bold, loud or quite, as long as they are making people feel like they are growing, appreciated, and confident in their future at the company,” Kruse wrote.