Sarah Fister Gale
23 January 2020
Employee engagement levels are woefully low. The latest Gallup data shows only 34 percent of employees are actively engaged in their work.
That means more than half of all employees are not engaged in their work, and 13 percent are actively disengaged, according to the survey.
These are troubling numbers given the proven benefits that employee engagement brings to a business, which include higher share prices, greater customer loyalty, lower turnover, easier recruiting and a host of other desirable business outcomes.
The good news in this story is that HR is not to blame. While HR leaders may be responsible for overseeing benefits programs, gathering employee engagement survey results, and rolling out employee programs and campaigns, they are not the ones who actually move the needle on engagement.
Studies consistently find that employee engagement hinges entirely on the way leaders lead and the kind of culture they create, said Patrick Kulesa, global head of employee research for Willis Towers Watson in New York. “The numbers show that how leaders inspire people with their strategy and mission determines whether employees will be engaged,” Kulesa said.
The problem is that leaders rarely take responsibility for employee engagement. They see it as a people issue, so they assume HR will fix whatever is broken. This is one of many mistakes leaders make when it comes to engagement.
Here are some of the other mistakes leaders make that damage employee engagement and how they can do better.
Written by Sarah Fister Gale
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