If you google employee engagement, you’re going to be inundated with thousands of results trying to define and tackle the topic of employee engagement. If you click on just about anyone of these results, you’ll learn that the level of employee engagement is still, 20 years later, sadly stagnant at 30 percent of the workforce.
But, what about managers? According to Gallup, managers are not much better, with only 36 percent of them considered engaged. If managers are not engaged, how can we ever expect to raise the level of engagement of the team members who work for them? Yes, employee engagement is internal. It cannot be forced, nor can it be bought. But it can be inspired, and engaging the workforce starts with engaged managers. Consider the questions below. Can you honestly say you’re an engaged manager, and would your employees agree with your self-assessment?
Do you love what you do?
Can you, without hesitation, say that you love your job? Do you genuinely enjoy coming to work, and do you feel blessed to work with your team members and clients every day? A leader’s attitude is contagious, and a leader who is unhappy with their job isn’t doing anyone any good.
Do you have a positive vision?
Do you have a positive, compelling vision of our team’s success, and are you taking action daily to turn that vision into a reality?
A positive, compelling vision is one of the most powerful tools at a leader’s disposal. A leader with a strong positive vision inspires and excites not only themselves, but also those around them.
Are your vision and values in alignment?
Are your vision and values closely aligned with those of your team and organization? Engaged managers ensure their vision and their values are aligned, and use them to drive their goals and actions. When we achieve our purpose, based on our values, we feel great about the work we do.
Are You Still Learning?
Do you actively seek opportunities to continuously learn? Great leaders never stop learning. Engaged managers are motivated to help their team rise to an even higher level by furthering their own learning, and encouraging their employees to do the same. They know that for the team to get better, they need to get better.
Are you a servant leader?
Do you take pride in ensuring that each of your team members has the tools and resources they need to do their job? Do you genuinely care about your team members, both personally and professionally, and do you put in the time necessary to help them accomplish their goals and ensure their success?
The reality is that you work for your team members, not the other way around. Engaged managers know that great team members contribute hard work and talent to their organization, and expect their leaders to show them the same level of care and dedication.
Do you have people who believe in you?
Can you confidently say that your boss/clients and team members believe in you and play an active role in your development and success?
When you are an engaged leader, your boss, clients and direct reports increase their level of trust in their relationship with you. With increased trust, your boss gives you more freedom to get your job done and increases your responsibilities, your direct reports go out of their way to do great work, and your clients rely on your for even more of your products and services.
Are you focused on results?
Are you focused on results, both for yourself and your team members, rather than being distracted by petty topics like face time, busy work and “how to” micro-management?
Engaged leaders dedicate their time and energy to the actions and tasks necessary to realizing their vision. They don’t waste their time telling their talented team members what tasks to do, and how to do them.
Do you encourage communication and teamwork?
Can you say you role model strong communication and teamwork? Are you willing to address issues with team members when a lack of communication or teamwork is undermining your success? Have you built a strong team based on a high level of trust earned through open, direct, honest, caring and timely communication?
Leadership is based on relationships, and strong leaders earn the respect and dedication of their followers by emphasizing strong communication and teamwork.
Do you recognize and celebrate success?
Do you take the time to recognize the success of each team member and celebrate the success of your team?
I love the word “we,” especially when it comes to recognition and celebration of success. Strong leaders seldom use the word “I” because they recognize that all successes are the result of the whole team’s collective effort. In fact, the only time they feel good about using the word “I” is when things go wrong and they need to shoulder the responsibility of ensuring that the same problem doesn’t happen again.
Do you enforce accountability?
Are you comfortable holding your team members accountable? Do you provide clear roles and expectations for the team, and are you willing to lean into conflict when needed to produce positive outcomes for the team?
Disengaged managers often let accountability slide. They simply don’t care who is pulling their weight, nor do they care to resolve conflicts that arise. Their failure to enforce accountability results in decreased motivation and morale throughout their team.
Do you have a healthy work-life balance?
Great leaders are focused on delivering exceptional results. They have a plan in place to achieve said results, and know that there is more to life than just work. They are committed to promoting a vibrant and healthy work-life balance, and role model a healthy balance for their team members.
A heavy focus has been placed on what organizations can do to engage employees. Yes, organizations can create an environment conducive to engagement and offer attractive perks. But, again, true employee engagement is internal; it cannot be forced, and it cannot be bought. To create a workplace of excellence in which top talent has the ability to thrive, managers need to take responsibility for not only the engagement of their employees, but also their own engagement. How did you answer the questions above? Are you indeed a happy and engaged manager, or have you identified some areas with room for improvement? I’d love to hear your thoughts on managers and engagement in the comments.
This article was syndicated from Business 2 Community: What Is Your Leadership Role In Employee Engagement?
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