When you are positioned at an executive or directorial level in an organization, it can sometimes be difficult to keep your finger on the pulse of your workforce's day-to-day operations and behaviors. While this not infrequently stems from focusing so intently on the bigger picture of the business, which is both understandable and appropriate, it will nonetheless be quite helpful to look closely at individual teams and their members on a regular basis.
What happens when you see issues with employee engagement on a broader scale than just a few isolated incidents of discontented workers? Is it the fault of these individuals, their leadership or an indeterminate combination of factors? No matter the specifics, a new approach, spearheaded by new executive leadership, could be just the shot in the arm that certain departments – or perhaps your organization as a whole – may need. Assistance from YES Partners will help you find ideal C-level staff to bring you back on the right track.
A granular look at engagement
According to recent research conducted by Gallup, just 34% of workers in the U.S. – and 15% worldwide – can be considered engaged. By this measure, that leaves 66% of American employees and 85% of global workers, across all organizations, who aren't engaged with their daily responsibilities or are actively disengaged.
Such data is, of course, rather broad in its conclusions vis a vis its sample size, and it doesn't mean that these proportions are true for every company in the U.S. or abroad. But Gallup is one of the world's most renowned research firms, and based on its conclusions, the issue of disengagement can thus be considered pervasive enough that if it's not affecting you right now, it could still rear its head in the future.
Managers and executives must become experts at spotting the signs of non-engagement or disengagement. These can vary wildly between individuals, but sudden declines in productivity, low-quality work (which isn't mutually exclusive with low productivity per se), poor attitude toward assignments, co-workers or managers and spikes in turnover are all reasonable signs something is up.
What leaders can do to boost engagement
Although direct supervisors may ultimately have the most immediate positive effects on engagement because they directly interact with workers most often, all leaders can play a part in boosting employee engagement.
According to the Center for Creative Leadership, two of the biggest things that can be helpful here are initiatives centered around development and feedback. The former should not be limited to training, but must also include continuous learning opportunities, which help employees hone their existing skills, explore and develop new talents and potentially put them in the right position to pursue promotions. Meanwhile, the latter – whether manifested via coaching, one-on-one conversations, team-wide group discussions or in other formats – provides workers with tangible evidence that managers and executives are willing to engage with them as individuals and not see them as names on a workforce roster.
The bottom line is that engagement ultimately has to be a two-way street, and if your current managers and departmental directors aren't willing to act accordingly for the betterment of the organization, you need to find new C-level personnel who will. Through our pedigree as one of the top global executive search firms and experience with filling unique roles – in new corners of tech, finance, energy, media, biotech, pharmaceuticals, consumer products and more – YES Partners can help your organization develop a truly engaged workforce and leadership structure. To see some of the roles that we have already successfully placed, click here.
Finding people is easy, but finding the RIGHT people is not. YES Partners helps companies FIND the right people for all company functions, across many industries.