This is a question that all leaders should constantly ask themselves and seek for a solution once they have determined the level of engagement. Unfortunately, a lot of energy is spent unnecessarily on areas that do not address ways to improve employee engagement.
According to Gallup, only 13% of employees worldwide were engaged in 2013. This means that the majority of employees are either not engaged or totally disengaged. Over $50 billion in productivity is lost annually due to disengagement in the US alone. This number is alarming and it clearly shows that most senior executives are putting their focus and energy on the external rather than on the internal which results to poor productivity and revenue loss. How much extra revenue and new productivity levels would your organization achieve if the focus was switched?
Conventional leadership training or even most MBA programs are too generic and do not necessarily focus on what most organizations stand for. This simply means that emphasis is mostly put on senior and executives’ personal development rather than on the most important organizational asset – people.
The most difficult task yet the most rewarding for a leader is being able to find ways and style of leadership practices that will unlock his or her employees talent, energy and potential.
The question is how does one do this?
A leader must be able to have a clear understanding of both their strength and weaknesses as it is perceived by his or her people. This is critical because most leaders gauge their leadership based on their own perception rather than that of others. Understanding your subordinates’ perception of your leadership will enable the leader to make necessary adjustment that will result to increase the level of commitment among their people.
This is the first step towards increasing employee engagement.
John Achokah is CEO at Blue Strategy Africa