RBA members were treated to a breakfast seminar presented by Dale Carnegie, a global leader in corporate training which has been helping people to achieve greater professional success for over 100 years.
It’s Time to Go All-In on Employee Engagement
It’s rare to find anyone in senior leadership today who says employee engagement is not a priority. Yet despite more than a decade of work, most longitudinal studies show that the average level of employee engagement in recent years is essentially unchanged. The business case for continuing the pursuit of employee engagement, however, has only become stronger, with credible data emerging to demonstrate the superior performance and earnings of organisations who achieve significant employee engagement (EE) gains1. Engaged employees are a competitive advantage, and the impact on the bottom line is now indisputable.
Achieving Breakthrough Engagement
New research reveals that organizations who want the benefits of an engaged workforce (improved individual, team and financial performance) must help their leaders make employee engagement a daily habit.
Just 25% of leaders surveyed say that EE is a very important part of what they think about, plan, and do every day. Another 38% say they work on it frequently, and the rest only occasionally, rarely or never.
Leaders who say they think about, plan for and work on engaging their employees every day, were four times more likely than all others to say their employees are always willing to do what it takes to get work done, even if it means going “above and beyond” (42% vs. 10%).
This type of data suggests there is an important difference in mindsets between leaders who see EE as one priority among others, and those who see EE as the primary way through which they will achieve results, including the accomplishment of other priorities.
As noted before, the majority of leaders are now convinced of the strong connection between highly- engaged employees and better financial results for their organisations. Yet as also stated previously,three quarters of the respondents don’t make EE a daily priority. Part of the explanation may be that efforts to present the “why” may not have moved beyond this high-level impact to benefits that are more tangible for individual leaders. Some leaders have seen these benefits for themselves. In the survey, leaders reported that when their employees are fully-engaged:
- 39% strongly agree it makes their job as a leader easier
- 49% strongly agree their team is more productive
- 50% strongly agree their customers are more satisfied
- 30% strongly agree it makes their job less stressful
- 33% strongly agree employees are less likely to be absent from work
Combining a culture of engagement, including strong organisational support and leadership by example, along with effective training and an emphasis on the personal benefits of having fullyengaged employees, produces a powerful impact on the likelihood that leaders will make EE a daily priority.
When it comes to improving engagement, most companies need look no further than their own leadership for their best starting point. Those who don’t actually believe in their employees as a competitive advantage will never make the leap; the temptation to relegate EE down on the list of business priorities will remain too great.
In addition, clearing the way for leaders of people to put engagement first takes real courage. Saying ‘yes’ to engagement means saying ‘no’ to some other priority.
For companies who hope to realize the many benefits of an engaged workforce, though, it’s time to go all-in. Those that don’t make it a top priority and a daily habit – for the organisation and every leader – simply can’t expect to cash in.
To learn more about the study and ways to improve Employee Engagement in your organisation, download our white paper HERE or contact Dale Carnegie Auckland on 0800 328 7246.
Footnote 1 Gallup, Inc. “State of the American Workplace.” Gallup.com, 15 Feb. 2017, news.gallup.com/reports/199961/state-american- workplace-report-2017.aspx
2 In 2018 Dale Carnegie & Associates conducted an online survey of nearly 3,600 employees (about half leaders with direct reports and half individual contributors) across eight countries, including the U.S., Canada, U.K., China, Germany, India, Brazil and Saudi Arabia.