Know the dirty little secret of employee engagement and use this insight to truly value your people!
If you are a supervisor of front-line employees, a middle manager or operating in the C-Suite, it’s tough sledding.
An overwhelming percentage of today’s workers are not engaged in the work they do. On a global level, just 15% of the overall working population identify themselves as actively engaged in their work. In the U.S., that figure climbs to just under one-third.
Managers spend countless hours and resources trying to re-energize their people, recapture their enthusiasm and better engage them in their work.
In point of fact, for the majority of managers, those efforts are misplaced.
In a survey done by Blessing White, only 47% of the senior leaders surveyed were fully engaged in their work. Think about that for a minute. An employee has a better than even chance that the senior leader on her team will NOT be engaged in her work.
Here’s the dirty little secret for managers that want to engage their people: For your people to be engaged, you need to be engaged – not talking the talk engaged, but walking the talk engaged. That means transforming today’s workplaces requires that managers transform themselves first.
In their book, It’s the Manager, Gallup recently published the findings of their extensive research into effective management practice. Their findings were categorical and conclusive: “70% of the variance in team engagement is determined solely by … the manager.”
Gallup is so sure of this finding that they call it their “single most profound, distinct, and clarifying finding” in the 80-year history of their organization.
The message is clear and unequivocal: managers, supervisors and leaders have the responsibility for creating the conditions that result in people being engaged.
One way is to actively and genuinely value your people. Valuing your people means treating them like the assets they are by investing in them, and not primarily treating them as costs that need to be controlled.
Investment in people takes many forms, but unlike investments in capital assets, they don’t have to be expensive. In fact, the most effective means of valuing people costs very little.
Take recognition for example. We know that the number one form of recognition sought by employees is a handwritten note from their immediate supervisor showing genuine and specific appreciation for something well done.
Simple, right? Costs next to nothing. I can buy 100 cards for less than $10. Yet employees consistently tell us that their bosses do little to specifically and genuinely recognize their contributions.
So, if you’re a manager, it’s up to you. If you want a productive workplace where your people are growing, developing and happy … you are the answer.
If you want a workplace that attracts and retains the best talent … you are the answer.
If you want people to be engaged in their work and your organization to be profitable … you are the answer.
If you want your people to be your competitive advantage … well, you get the idea.
Valuing People starts with you.
Bill Scott is a trainer and consultant. He specializes in appreciative means of valuing people and making workplaces magnetic.