Good news: Employee engagement starts with leader engagement
Are you satisfied with the level of employee engagement at your company? If your firm is like the businesses surveyed in the latest national Gallup poll(opens in a new tab), only 34%of your workers are truly engaged.
Employee engagement is one of five core programs at The BB&T Leadership Institute and the subject of a timely Leadership Amplitude podcast episode about how you can create a work environment that fosters employee engagement.
The episode features Chuck Gaskin, who recently became chief associate engagement officer at BB&T, where he helps the bank’s employees realize their vision, mission and values. He uses the strategies he advocated when he was talent consulting manager at The Leadership Institute. Anna Slaydon of The Leadership Institute hosts the podcast.
Engagement starts with belief in leaders’ talents
Employee engagement depends on several leadership factors, Gaskin explains in the podcast episode.
First, your employees need to know you – the company’s leader – understand today’s ever-changing business world and can ensure the company will flourish.
Second, your employees need to know you’re someone they can believe in, trust and rely on through good times and bad. In short, you will lead the company in a positive way toward the best possible outcome. Every employee’s position and future with the company depends on your overall ability, knowledge and vision.
Your employees must firmly hold these two intertwined beliefs in the company’s leadership to give their very best.
Employees come to work motivated
Employee engagement doesn’t need to be created. It needs to be sustained and grown. Why? Employees come to work motivated. Think about it. Your employees are adults, and they value their careers. They want to be successful at their jobs, which means they want to achieve great things at work.
They also often have families (or others) who depend on them, and they want to grow in their job so they can afford the better things in life or make a larger contribution to society. For these and other reasons, your employees are highly invested in their careers.
So you can focus on the final key aspect of creating, and sustaining, an engaging environment: It’s your level of engagement.
Not only does an employee need to believe in your leadership, but she or he also needs to know you love your job as much as they do theirs. Because if the president or CEO isn’t working with a high sense of energy, enthusiasm and zeal, it’s unreasonable to expect employees to give 100% on a sustained basis.
How to create the right type of environment
As a leader, you want your employees to believe their career is as important to them as yours is to you. And that will occur only if you create the right type of environment.
Here are three questions to ask yourself:
- Do your employees willingly give the same amount of energy and enthusiasm to their job as you give to yours?
- When your employees look at you, do they see an engaged, trustworthy and positive leader?
- Do your employees still believe as much in the company as they did when they were first hired?
For an employee to stay with a company and work with energy and passion so they can do their very best, they must feel they’re where they want to be. And they must feel their leaders will always keep them at the top of their game and provide the best leadership and direction they can.
Ask yourself: Does that sound like you and your company?
The truth is if you’re not feeling engaged, it’s difficult to create a workplace culture of engagement. And if you aren’t feeling engaged or maybe you’re too tired, burnt out, stressed or simply hurt, you don’t have to figure out how to regain that engagement on your own.
The BB&T Leadership Institute offers transformative programs for leadership development, talent development and employee engagement. Our Mastering Leadership Dynamics program, for example, will provide you with the opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of yourself, your leadership patterns and your impact on others, all during a five-day stay at our beautiful campus. This program will also help you increase your resilience. Many executives find it’s the perfect way to reenergize the leader within yourself.
Leadership Amplitude podcast episodes are available on iTunes(opens in a new tab), Stitcher, Google Play and Spotify.
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