As a manager, HR manager or CEO, how engaged with your business would you say that your leaders are? By leaders, I’m referring to your people in power, including your team leaders, supervisors, line managers or anybody who operates with your business and is reported to by staff working beneath them.
You might actually find it surprising that Gallup claims that 87% of all employees are not engaged at work, and in the UK alone this costs businesses around £340 billion a year. This is a lot of money and a lot of lost productivity. However, looking at these statistics more closely, it’s been noted that these figures don’t actually include leadership roles.
Of course, if the figures are so drastic from employees themselves, surely the same, or similar, can be said for the people leading them?
“If employees aren’t engaged in a business, there’s only one place you can really look to, and that’s the leaders. On a day to day basis, the employees come in, report to their leader before setting about their work. If a leader has set a negative tone for the day, this is going to reflect on the employees; it’s just common sense” shares Matt Harper, the HR manager for Grammarix.
Back in 2013, Bain & Company carried out a survey that found around 60% of employees were not aware of their companies goals or values, the strategies that were being implemented or the tactics the company used.
The first question to rise from this is how employees are supposed to be engaged in a business if they don’t even know how it’s operating or why?
“There’s a common problem that is arising in businesses around the world,” explains Sharon Rider, “In short, more managers are replying to their employee’s emails later and later; they are saying ‘no’ to employees, they aren’t engaging or talking to them properly, either about work or social lives and they seem to favor employees that have similar views to them.”
It’s important as a leader to stay neutral and to treat everybody the same. If you don’t find your leader motivating, or as someone who cares about you as an individual, you simply won’t get the desired results from these individuals, and they end up doing the bare minimum they need to get by and keep their jobs.
Not only does a leader need to employ these kinds of communication tactics and put effort into their staff, but they also need to uphold them and remain consistent over long periods of time. If a leader comes to work and is happy and approachable one week, but not the next, employees simply don’t know where they stay, leading to further disengagement.
Changing the Way of the World
So, a business owner, where can you go from here? How can re-engage your leaders, your employees and ultimately allow your business to grow?
As the Huffington Post suggests; It all starts from the top.
By changing your own mindset and engaging your leaders, you can start to make a change. Firstly, you need to ensure your leaders that they have room to personally grow your business. However, many leaders find that when they get into their role, they want to start doing things their way.
More often than not, this causes problems, especially when you consider that your business may have been running in a successful way long before that individual was in that position.
By not doing so, this is where a divide comes between the employees and the leaders. However, by engaging, educating and inspiring the leaders, this can be passed down to the employees, giving everybody the opportunity to grow and succeed, including your business.
So true! The impact of a disengaged leader can have on the business is huge. Not only the company is likely to lose an employee, but they will directly or indirectly, voluntarily or involuntarily, spread their lack of engagement to their team and peers. Focusing on leaders, how they can grow in the company, what they can learn and what they can give to others (and get in return) is the way!