Engagement is for Everyone, Even Leaders!

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I recently participated in a webinar hosted by BambooHR called “Cultivating Your Workforce: A Panel Discussion on Employee Development and Growth.” My intent was to discover some fresh ideas from other HR professionals who are on a mission to increase employee engagement at their organizations but something unexpected happened during the webinar. I realized that I am an employee who feels less engaged than I’d like to be!

Fact: Employees with higher engagement and workplace satisfaction have been shown to be more productive(1). Productive employees stay at their organizations for longer periods of time which reduces turnover and hiring costs; all of these components have a direct positive impact on company profits and future opportunity for growth. From the facts we can deduce that it’s incredibly important for your all of your employees (yes, this includes you) to be ENGAGED.

I am aware that I run some risk by sharing this much about my current professional challenges on the internet but I believe it’s incredibly important that we maintain a high level of emotional intelligence and self awareness to be the strongest leaders we can be for our team. As leaders we often forget to perform our own engagement check (2) to see how we are feeling inside of our organizations and, in turn, ask for what we need in order to be our most successful and help our companies thrive. Here are some things to ask yourself when you’re thinking about your level of engagement and your needs within your organizations:

1.Describe what your ideal work day should look like in your position at a similar company within our industry. Describe what your ideal work day should look like as a leader of your current company.
2. What are some things that prevent you from living your ideal work day?
3. What do you need to see from your team to let your ideal work day happen?
4. What do you need from your manager let your ideal work day happen?
5. Do you understand how decisions are made? Why/why not?
6. Do you have enough information around the company’s yearly objectives/goals are? Why/why not?

I challenge you to take 30 minutes at the end of today and ask yourself the 6 questions I posed above. Write down your answers and tuck them away for the following week. During your next 1:1 with your manager, have the courage to ask your manager the same 6 questions and share your answers with them. In thinking about all that we do for our team members and our organizations, it’s easy to forget that we are also employees with engagement needs. I encourage you to explore your own level of engagement so you can most positively impact the engagement of others.

  1. How Employee Engagement Drives Growth
  2. The Gallup Q12 Employee Engagement Questionnaire

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