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Leadership Key Whitepaper 2015 by LeadershipHQ

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The Leadership Key
Reinvigorating the Disengaged Workforce
Leadership HQ White Paper
The Leadership Key 2
Contents
Executive Summary 3
Part 1: Is Your Workforce Destined to Remain D...
3
Executive Summary
Research by AON Hewitt tells us that nearly half of the world’s employees are not
engaged, and that ea...
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Leadership Key Whitepaper 2015 by LeadershipHQ

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Research by AON Hewitt tells us that nearly half of the world’s employees are not engaged, and that each disengaged employee costs your organisation an average of $10,000 in profit annually.
Why is employee disengagement so high? Is it something all organisations just have to “live with” or is there a way of managing it and perhaps converting disengaged employees into team members who are happy and enthusiastic about their work?
There are many benefits to having a workforce that is engaged in their work. Employees who are actively engaged in their work:
• are happier and less likely to move on to another competitor
• tend to feel less stressed and call in sick less
• feel that their actions matter so are more likely to work diligently which increases quality and productivity
• have positive attitudes about their company, management,
co-workers and customers making them more likely to share their time and talents and bring their best ideas and creativity to their workplace
Unfortunately, the recent climate of economic uncertainty has thrown many organisations into turmoil as they struggle to make changes so they can maintain a competitive foothold in the marketplace. It is the employees who are feeling the strain as their employment or promotional prospects look shaky and internal communications dry up while senior executives work out how to deal with the situation. That’s where employee disengagement enters.
In this paper we pose the following questions:
• Is your workforce destined to remain disengaged?
• What does that do to your business performance?
• More importantly what does it do to morale?
• Is disengagement contagious?
• Is it systemic?
• What can you do to overcome disengagement?
We found that in many cases, employee disengagement is a systemic organisational issue. It is caused or aggravated by out-dated systems which ignore the basic needs of the employee and exist primarily for the benefit of the business. It’s an old strategy which is well past its use-by date.
Successful organisations have identified the main factors behind disengagement and have begun to address them. They have realised that their leaders hold the key to employee engagement because they are the meeting point between employee and organisational needs.

Research by AON Hewitt tells us that nearly half of the world’s employees are not engaged, and that each disengaged employee costs your organisation an average of $10,000 in profit annually.
Why is employee disengagement so high? Is it something all organisations just have to “live with” or is there a way of managing it and perhaps converting disengaged employees into team members who are happy and enthusiastic about their work?
There are many benefits to having a workforce that is engaged in their work. Employees who are actively engaged in their work:
• are happier and less likely to move on to another competitor
• tend to feel less stressed and call in sick less
• feel that their actions matter so are more likely to work diligently which increases quality and productivity
• have positive attitudes about their company, management,
co-workers and customers making them more likely to share their time and talents and bring their best ideas and creativity to their workplace
Unfortunately, the recent climate of economic uncertainty has thrown many organisations into turmoil as they struggle to make changes so they can maintain a competitive foothold in the marketplace. It is the employees who are feeling the strain as their employment or promotional prospects look shaky and internal communications dry up while senior executives work out how to deal with the situation. That’s where employee disengagement enters.
In this paper we pose the following questions:
• Is your workforce destined to remain disengaged?
• What does that do to your business performance?
• More importantly what does it do to morale?
• Is disengagement contagious?
• Is it systemic?
• What can you do to overcome disengagement?
We found that in many cases, employee disengagement is a systemic organisational issue. It is caused or aggravated by out-dated systems which ignore the basic needs of the employee and exist primarily for the benefit of the business. It’s an old strategy which is well past its use-by date.
Successful organisations have identified the main factors behind disengagement and have begun to address them. They have realised that their leaders hold the key to employee engagement because they are the meeting point between employee and organisational needs.

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Leadership Key Whitepaper 2015 by LeadershipHQ

  1. 1. The Leadership Key Reinvigorating the Disengaged Workforce
  2. 2. Leadership HQ White Paper The Leadership Key 2 Contents Executive Summary 3 Part 1: Is Your Workforce Destined to Remain Disengaged? 4 Part 2: Current Statistics on Disengagement. 5 Part 3: The Impact of Workforce Disengagement on Business Performance. 6 Part 4: Disengagement and Morale 8 Part 5: Is Disengagement Contagious? 9 Part 6: Is Disengagement Systemic? 10 Part 7: What you can do about Disengagement? 10 About Sonia McDonald and LeadershipHQ 12
  3. 3. 3 Executive Summary Research by AON Hewitt tells us that nearly half of the world’s employees are not engaged, and that each disengaged employee costs your organisation an average of $10,000 in profit annually. Why is employee disengagement so high? Is it something all organisations just have to “live with” or is there a way of managing it and perhaps converting disengaged employees into team members who are happy and enthusiastic about their work? There are many benefits to having a workforce that is engaged in their work. Employees who are actively engaged in their work: • are happier and less likely to move on to another competitor • tend to feel less stressed and call in sick less • feel that their actions matter so are more likely to work diligently which increases quality and productivity • have positive attitudes about their company, management, co-workers and customers making them more likely to share their time and talents and bring their best ideas and creativity to their workplace Unfortunately, the recent climate of economic uncertainty has thrown many organisations into turmoil as they struggle to make changes so they can maintain a competitive foothold in the marketplace. It is the employees who are feeling the strain as their employment or promotional prospects look shaky and internal communications dry up while senior executives work out how to deal with the situation. That’s where employee disengagement enters. In this paper we pose the following questions: • Is your workforce destined to remain disengaged? • What does that do to your business performance? • More importantly what does it do to morale? • Is disengagement contagious? • Is it systemic? • What can you do to overcome disengagement? We found that in many cases, employee disengagement is a systemic organisational issue. It is caused or aggravated by out-dated systems which ignore the basic needs of the employee and exist primarily for the benefit of the business. It’s an old strategy which is well past its use-by date. Successful organisations have identified the main factors behind disengagement and have begun to address them. They have realised that their leaders hold the key to employee engagement because they are the meeting point between employee and organisational needs. Leaders are significant members of your team who have a high level of influence on the thoughts, emotions and behaviours of employees. AON Hewitt research shows that organisations who actively seek out and invest in the development of talent, particularly in their leaders, and who align leadership programs with business strategy, are much more likely to maintain a high engagement of people across the organisation. They describe these organisations as recognising that “leadership is a way of life – it is embedded into the values and expected behaviours and culture of the organisation”. Conclusions Two areas every organisation needs to focus on are: 1. Development and implementation of leadership and people development. 2. Development of an organisational strategy to align talent recruitment and development with organisational objectives – matching people with processes to achieve unmatched business performance. Having an engaging and well trained leader is critical to your organisational success. It is evident that any investment in your leaders will have a flow-on effect on their teams, employee engagement and eventually on the profits of your organisation.
  4. 4. Leadership HQ White Paper The Leadership Key 4 Part 1: Is Your Workforce Destined to Remain Disengaged? Worldwide Statistics Regarding Engaged, Disengaged and Actively Disengaged Employees Since most companies would derive great benefits from having an engaged workforce, it is somewhat surprising that many businesses don’t do more to engage their employees. Gallup’s 2013 State of the Global Workplace study indicates that worldwide, only 13% of workers are actively engaged in their work. This same study also indicates that 63% of workers worldwide are not engaged, meaning they go through their day almost like proverbial zombies or robots, being physically present but doing only a minimal amount of work in order to collect a salary. Even more distressing to business leaders is the fact that the study also shows that 24% of workers worldwide are actively disengaged. Employees who are disengaged with their work are more likely to leave their current employer for a higher salary or more engaging work. They are also more likely to feel stressed and use sick time, and are more likely to be inattentive and unfocussed while performing essential tasks and functions of their position within a company, which can lead to issues with quality control and production. They are also more susceptible to being influenced by fellow co-workers who are actively disengaged. When a worker is actively disengaged, they have a very negative attitude about their work, supervisors, company and even customers. Actively disengaged employees often spend part of their time actively looking for ways to spread their negative opinions to others. Sometimes actively disengaged employees may resort to both overt and covert means of sabotage in order to reinforce their beliefs and opinions. The fact that actively disengaged employees outnumber actively engaged workers should be chilling to every business owner and manager. Traditionally, organisations have sought to overcome the disengagement issue by offering more money or bonuses but this has not worked. It is a knee-jerk response to a situation that many don’t understand. Without analysing the causes of employee disengagement, there will be no real, long term solution. Recommendation: If you have implemented solutions but gained no improvements, it’s time to work on a strategy rather than jumping straight to a solution.
  5. 5. 5 Part 2: Current Statistics on Disengagement. Your disengaged workers are costing you more than $2,000 per employee per year, plus affecting productivity and overall office morale. Engagement in the Australian Workforce While it’s true that global statistics on engagement are quite sobering, the number of employees who are actively engaged at their work varies greatly by country. Just as Gallup’s 2013 State of the Global Workplace study indicates only 13% of global workers are actively engaged in their work, the same study shows that 26% of employees of Australian businesses are actively engaged, and only 16% are actively disengaged. With just over 1 in 4 Australian employees actively participating in their work and giving the companies that they work for the best of their talents, ideas and energy, Australian companies have tremendous potential for growth if they put forth the effort to actively convert disengaged employees and motivate them to be more active participants. A key first step to converting disengaged employees is taking the time to identify leaders from within the existing employee pool that are already actively engaged in their work and enlist their help and positive energy to influence the attitudes and behaviours of their less engaged co-workers. Engaged employees are often easy to spot, as they tend to exhibit traits such as confidence and enthusiasm. They seem to be genuinely inspired by the senior leadership of their company and often show great initiative and independence and seek to resolve conflicts or challenges without prior direction. Global Ramifications of Increased Engagement in Australian Businesses Employees that are actively engaged in their work tend to be happier, more productive, creative and loyal. They also do their part to build a culturally strong business that gains a competitive advantage over businesses that continue to ignore the needs of their workforce. Actively pursuing efforts to re-engage their workforce gives individual Australian businesses a distinct business advantage over their local competitors. There are also increasing international ramifications as well, as Australia increasingly becomes a dominant world trading partner. According to the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, over 45,000 Australian businesses trade internationally each year, and their exports add up to over $318.5 billion dollars in annual sales. Recommendation: Develop a strategy to seek out and identify emerging leaders in your organisation. It is a cost-effective choice to work with people who are already actively committed to your business goals and who are familiar with the issues affecting their team mates.
  6. 6. Leadership HQ White Paper The Leadership Key 6 Part 3: The Impact of Workforce Disengagement on Business Performance. What Does Disengagement do to Your Business Performance? “Gallup estimates that these actively disengaged employees cost the U.S. between $450 billion to $550 billion each year in lost productivity. They are more likely to steal from their companies, negatively influence their co-workers, miss workdays, and drive customers away.” The picture is similar in Australia. We know that engaged employees increase the profitability and productivity of their employers in several ways. The following are just a few of the many benefits of having an engaged workforce: • Reduced turnover, that leads to reduced costs for hiring and training staff. • Reduced costs for absenteeism, sick time and worker’s compensation. Reduced costs are not the only benefit of having employees that are more engaged. Disengaged employees are more likely to only put forth a minimal amount of effort in their work, which can have a disastrous effect on your company’s business performance. To your customers and your employees, the products and services that you provide are the public face and identity of your company. To the public, your employees are you. When your employees are disengaged, they are more likely to show up for work on “auto-pilot,” and are less likely to proactively interact with your customers. This not only puts your customers off, it robs you of vital information and feedback that your customer could share about their needs, but now will not do so because of a bad experience with one of your employees or one of your products. Having direct access to your customer’s wants and needs is the cornerstone of being able to adapt to changing tastes and preferences, and the ability to innovate and create new products and services that adapt to a changing market. Disengaged employees not only have a greater chance of having a negative customer service experience with a customer, they are also more likely to produce inferior products and services since they are not fully focussed at work, which reduces the overall quality of your product. If enough negative experiences with employees, products and services accumulate, you won’t remain in business long. Left to their own devices, disengaged employees are more vulnerable to the attitudes and energy of those who may be actively disengaged with your company. If their ranks swell, you could be faced with slowdowns, work stoppages, or even active sabotage at your workplace. The facts then are quite clear; it is absolutely necessary to the long term survival and growth of your business to work to identify your workers that are disengaged and find ways to guide them into becoming actively engaged.
  7. 7. Some figures to think about. These statistics come from a 2007 report by DDI. While the dollar amounts might be different in today’s economy, the overall impact is the same. These figures just scratch the surface of the costs of employee disengagement. • Staff replacement is a huge cost to your organisation. The average cost to replace an employee is around 50% of his/her salary, or perhaps even more, depending on the level or the industry you operate in. • For larger organisations (over 10,000 staff), moving a workforce from low to high engagement can have an impact of over $42 million. • Quality errors in the same sized organisation were at 5,658 for the low-engagement group and only 52 for the high-engagement group. • In companies where engagement sits at 60%, shareholder’s return stood at 24.2%. Where engagement is between 49% and 60%, total shareholder’s return fell to 9.1%. Companies with a lower than 25% engagement rate brought a negative return. How to Identify Disengaged Employees Use these tips to gain insight into which of your staff might be a disengaged employee. Take proactive steps to turn things around, because employee attitudes, both positive and negative, are contagious! • The Complainer. Do you have an employee that is always seeking ways to point out everyone’s faults and shortcomings? • The Lone Wolf. Do you have an employee that keeps to themselves and refuses to collaborate, bringing down the rest of your team? • The Gossip, Rabble-rouser and/or the Liar. Do you have one or two “bad apples” that seem to be the source of exaggerations, half-truths, innuendos and outright lies that keep things “stirred-up”? • The Know it All. Do you have someone on your team that seems to be such an expert at everything that they won’t listen to the ideas of others? • No Fault Molly. Do you have employees that refuse to accept responsibility for their actions? • Mostly Dead. Do you have an employee or two that has no enthusiasm, for anything? They are there in body, but little else? • Dead Wood. This type of disengaged employee somewhat resembles dead wood, they’ve often been in their position for far too long and have no interest in growing themselves or the company. • The Distracted Daydreamer. Do you have members on your staff that are unfocussed on their work, or who have no initiative to learn anything new or try to improve things? If you find that your workers resemble some of these types of disengaged employees, you need to shake things up before their attitudes and behaviour begin to affect other employees, customers, and your profitability and performance as a company. Recommendation: If you are concerned at the cost of implementing a leadership development strategy in your organisation, take a look at what it costs you to do nothing. Talent development and performance management pays for itself. 7
  8. 8. Leadership HQ White Paper The Leadership Key 8 Part 4: Disengagement and Morale Often the terms “disengagement” and “low morale” are used interchangeably, yet I don’t believe they are the same thing, although they are tightly linked. The Oxford Dictionary defines morale as “the confidence, enthusiasm, and discipline of a person or group at a particular time”. It’s a state of mind which is influenced or affected by emotions. A person with low morale may not show enthusiasm or joy at coming to work, but often they will continue the attempt to work simply because they know that someone is relying on them to do it. Disengagement is the next step beyond low morale. People may or may not turn up for work, but even if they do, they are unlikely to perform. The connection between what they do and why they do it (or who they do it for) has been damaged to the point where they can’t make themselves care anymore. When morale starts to drop you will see it and feel it in your workplace. The negative energy oozes through entire teams. The smiles start to disappear, hushed conversations are held by water coolers, and your productivity starts to drop. Morale affects everything you do in your organisation and ultimately impacts on your competitive advantage. Low morale shows even in your customer service. Your team no longer goes to the same effort they once did to help your clients. Sales drop and complaints rise. At this point your people start to think, “What the hell. It’s not working anyway so I might as well give up”. That’s the point where employee disengagement begins. In an article in Forbes, Liz Ryan says “Somehow the time- honoured concept of employee morale — the answer to the question ‘How’s the team doing?’ got twisted into the notion of Employee Engagement, where the penalty for being insufficiently engaged with the mission is to be responsible for one’s own layoff”. She argues that people act in their own self-interest, so it’s unreasonable to expect them to be engaged at work if there is the possibility that they might lose their job. I would add that it’s very difficult to be engaged at work if they are emotionally focussed elsewhere, perhaps on their private lives. There are two reasons for drawing the distinction between morale and engagement. 1. It is impossible to accurately assess employee engagement or disengagement without considering the impact of their non-work worlds. Traditional engagement surveys and interviews which happen according to a set routine (or a KPI which must be met) won’t give you the true picture of your organisational health and employee engagement. It’s a numbers game. 2. If leaders can learn to recognise the signs of low morale, they can take decisive action to deal with it and prevent it leading to total disengagement. The solution often offered is to encourage leaders to have a meaningful and “proactive conversation” with each team member on a regular basis (read this as “once a year”). Surely that misses the point. Your people don’t want scheduled interaction; they want consistent and open communication across the board. Recommendation: Choose open and honest communication as one of your corporate values and model the behaviour from the top down.
  9. 9. Part 5: Is Disengagement Contagious? I’m sure you can remember a time when you went to work (or some other place) in a bright and happy mood only to run into friends who were having a rough day. It’s hard to maintain your high spirits after being exposed to negative emotions. Neuroscience shows us that our limbic system (the emotional centre of our brain) can recognise emotion in another person within milliseconds even without any obvious display. We are wired to be receptive to each other’s emotions. It’s part of our inbuilt survival mechanism. The more we are exposed to a particular mood or emotion, the more we begin to experience it and show it in our own thoughts and behaviour. When you consider that bad emotions and bad feedback have more impact than good ones, and bad information is processed more thoroughly than good, you can see how easily an attitude of disengagement might spread. When your teams appear to be disengaging from their work, the most logical place to look for answers is with their leaders. “Because employees pay great attention to their leaders’ emotions, leaders can strongly influence the mood, and thus attitudes and performance, of their teams through emotional contagion.” - Wharton@Work That means leaders are able to influence their teams to become bored or disillusioned with their work simply by showing their own lack of engagement. Leaders who are not committed to their work and their teams will only help spread the disengagement disease. As a balance, however, imagine if you could cause a team to become excited and involved in a project simply by encouraging your leaders to show their own excitement. Imagine what would happen if you could do that in your workplace. Imagine what effect that would have on your teams, and ultimately on your productivity. Recommendation: Leaders will need to be sure of their skills and confident in their ability to manage disengaged team members so they rediscover a true connection with their work. Encourage leaders to learn more about themselves so they can see their strengths and weaknesses, and discover how they can better work with their teams. What your leaders can do to stop the contagion. The first thing they need to do is accept that they have a role to play in stopping the spread of the disease. Advocate – Your leaders are on the spot and can see where trouble begins. Part of their role is to advocate for change. They need to represent their teams to management and bring the issues forward. Cultivate a supportive environment – Where possible, meet the needs of your employees. For example, adopt flexible work arrangements for people returning to work. Offer training to lift employees from their current roles. Show that you are interested in your employees as people, not just as numbers. Listen – There is a deeply emotional element beneath employee disengagement and until that is recognised, there will be no healing. Discourage negative conversations – Listening to the complaints of others around them will bring down even the most positive of team members. Leaders need to be able to take action to stop the conversations taking place. That doesn’t mean dismissing them; it means taking those conversations from the “water cooler” and into the leader’s space where it can be dealt with. Model positivity – While it’s easier for a negative attitude to spread, leaders can slow it down by modelling positive behaviours and attitudes. Showing enthusiasm, passion for the work and joy at being part of the team can spark a response in their team members. The attitude of the leader has a direct impact on the attitude of the team. Your leaders are the key to change within the organisation and without their support and hard work, change will be a long time coming. 9
  10. 10. Leadership HQ White Paper The Leadership Key 10 Part 6: Is Disengagement Systemic? A survey by a US company, Accountemps, found that 33% of employees believe that poor communication from senior levels is the primary cause of morale issues in the workplace. That’s a reflection of a systemic issue in the workplace. Is it possible that more of your workplace systems are contributing to the gradual disengagement of your employees? Of course it is. The evidence is there. Let’s take a look. What happens when management realise that their staff are becoming disengaged? Usually they come up with a solution which involves a wage rise, a bonus or some other incentive designed to motivate. It works – but only for a short while. That’s because they haven’t solved the underlying issues. Your systems have to meet your employees’ basic needs: • To feel valued. • To feel as though they are heard. • To feel that they are doing something worthwhile. • To feel as though they belong. • To feel in control of their direction. • To feel that their life is in balance. • To feel as though their leaders care about them. More money can’t compensate for the things that really bother us at work. If you come in to work every day and can’t work out why your job is important or you feel that no one is listening to you, a wage rise is not going to solve the problem. It’s the organisational systems which have to change and it’s your leaders which will be pivotal in embedding the changes into your workplace. These are areas which can have a serious impact on employee engagement. Mission and vision – have you clearly communicated the “why” of what you do to everyone in the organisation? For people to feel engaged with their work, they need to know how they fit into your plans and why what they do is important. Too often, the mission and vision is just a statement on a strategic plan. It is never shared with staff. Communication – are messages being received throughout the organisation? We’ve seen businesses struggle because communications stopped at management level. People will do what is required of them if they know why it’s necessary. People management – how well does your organisation manage people? Return to work, internal transfer, and injury management? The way you care for people during times of change, upset or injury is a direct reflection of the way you see your staff. They want to know that you care about their welfare as individuals. If your systems are process driven, you may be driving up disengagement without realising. Poor leaders – as we said earlier, leaders are important to your organisational success because they are influencers. Poorly chosen or untrained leaders will only reinforce the systemic problems behind disengagement. Recommendation: Assess the systems within your organisation by investigating their human impact. Part 7: What you can do about Disengagement? Is There Hope for Disengaged Workers? Since 87% of the workforce, worldwide, is either disengaged or actively disengaged in their work, it may seem that business leaders have little reason to hope that they can change attitudes and behaviour and convert their workforce from disengaged workers to engaged, active partners that will work with them to build the company. Research, however, shows that this belief is false, and there are several success stories where business leaders have been able to take action to influence their employee’s beliefs and behaviours and turn things around. How Can Leaders Work to Encourage Greater Engagement in Their Workplace? Since greater employee engagement leads to so many benefits, business leaders must first discover why their employees are disengaged before they can begin to take corrective action to better meet the needs of their employees. While each individual leader will discover obstacles that are unique to their company, global statistics on engagement can provide some interesting insight into where leaders might begin their search. Currently, many business experts believe that employee engagement is overwhelmingly driven by three factors: an employee’s relation with their front line supervisor, the employee’s trust in the company’s senior leadership, and the amount of pride that a specific employee has for the work that they do for their employer. The research tends to support these conclusions. According to statistics provided by Dale Carnegie Training, employees that are unhappy with their direct manager are disengaged 80% of the time and 70% of employees that distrust the senior leadership of their company are also disengaged. 54% of workers that are actively engaged also feel great pride in their work and workplace.
  11. 11. Of course, some leaders may find more specific root causes of employee dissatisfaction at their workplace, but leaders can begin to increase employee engagement with the following general guidelines: • Leaders should increase opportunities for employees to provide feedback and their ideas. • Senior leadership should take the time to communicate the company’s vision and goals for the future so that employees have a greater understanding of the company’s purpose and their role in actively achieving that purpose. • The actions of senior leaders should show that each individual employee’s ideas matter, that they have the ability to influence the company’s goals, the steps that are taken to achieve them, and that employees also have the ability to directly influence their work environment as well. • Front line managers should take care to build trust and cooperation with employees so as to have a beneficial, professional working relationship. • Leaders at all levels should help employees to feel more empowered by giving them greater control and more authority in their work roles and providing greater opportunities to publically recognise and reward performance. As direct and senior leaders develop greater bonds of mutual trust as well as provide greater responsibility and recognition for their employees, engagement naturally increases. Steps that Leaders can take to Re-engage Their Employees There are, of course, several steps that leaders can take to re-engage their employees so that they feel more positive about the company, their supervisors, co-workers and customers. These steps include the following practices: • Change must begin within the leadership of the company. Managers and others must change their attitudes towards workers and get rid of any preconceived notions as to what does and does not motivate their employees. Leaders need to actively work to see their employees as partners rather than just workers or “cogs in the wheel”. The more that leaders actively seek out to serve their employee’s needs and best interests, the more those employees will become engaged with their leaders and their company. • Leaders must ensure that their employees have everything that they need to excel in the performance of their job. Nothing is more frustrating to employees than being asked to perform a job, but not being given the materials, training and other resources that they need to do the task well. Help your employees help you by taking the time to ask your employees what they need from you to perform the job. Go to bat for your employees and ensure that your company commits the time and resources to give them training, not only for their current position, but for future positions as well; it will go a long way to ensuring that your employees value working at your company. • Take time to bond and show interest in employees on a personal level. Leaders need to have an “open door” policy with their employees. Employees are more likely to share their concerns, as well as their best ideas and talents, when they feel that their leaders are approachable and value them as individuals. When leaders seek ways to knock down the social barriers that often exist between leaders and co-workers, it can help increase loyalty and job satisfaction and ensure that employees feel as though they are working for something greater than themselves. • Provide regular feedback, as well as rewards and recognition, as everyone likes to feel noticed and appreciated. Many employees become disengaged because they truly believe that their actions do not matter. By providing regular, constructive feedback about performance, leaders can help engage their employees and help guide them into good work habits. Seeking opportunities to praise employees for their efforts and to publically recognise and reward employees for outstanding performance and effort, also helps to boost satisfaction and employee effort. Creating a workplace environment that engages employees is not always easy, but the potential for increased performance, quality, efficiency and lower costs make it well worth the effort. By following the above steps, leaders can take “fate into their own hands”, and actively take steps to reverse the number of disengaged employees in their workforce. By being proactive, disengagement need not be the ultimate destiny for any employee. 11
  12. 12. Leadership HQ White Paper The Leadership Key 12 Conclusion According to Daily Infographic, businesses that have highly engaged employees see 2 ½ times the annual revenue than companies that have a great number of disengaged employees and 87% of engaged employees plan to continue working for their current employer, reducing turnover and new hire training costs while boosting corporate earnings and profits. These same statistics show that while 90% of senior managers believe a formal employee engagement strategy is critical to their growth and survival, less than 25% actually have a strategy to increase employee engagement. With so many benefits that are backed by research and statistics, leaders should act now to increase employee engagement and gain the competitive edge. It is quite clear from the research that your leaders are the key to employee engagement, but that puts a huge responsibility squarely onto their shoulders. • Your leaders need regular and ongoing support in the form of training and development. • Your organisation needs to support its leaders by developing and implementing strategies to boost internal communication. • You will require a strategy to help your organisation discover talent, engage it with your organisational mission, vision and values, and develop it into the next generation of leaders. Organisations can’t tackle employee disengagement by making ad hoc change. Opportunities for engagement needs to be built into the business from the ground up. About LeadershipHQ and Sonia McDonald LeadershipHQ provides solutions, programs and interventions that will help your organisation to achieve maximum success. Leadership is our passion; we live it, breathe it and love it! Our purpose and vision is to partner with organisations and leaders in building high performance leadership, culture and strategic interventions – improving staff engagement, motivation, retention and ultimately, the bottom line. We deliver tailor-made programs, interventions and workshops to achieve organisational and cultural change, inspirational and high-impact leadership and leading-edge business strategies. Our consulting services are aimed at the success you want to achieve and unlock the untapped resources of your people. We are the leaders in leadership and strategy. We understand the reality of a profitable business today demands strong leadership and diversity of thought. We bring value to our clients by facilitating the integration and alignment of the business strategy with workable talent management, diversity and leader impact strategies through the latest research, analysis and work in neuroscience as well as leadership. Sonia McDonald, as Director of LeadershipHQ, brings an extensive knowledge of human resources, organisational development and leadership through a career spanning over twenty years. She is a thought leader, coach, consultant, speaker and trainer in the field of leadership development, gender intelligence and strategy. She is an expert in building leadership and strategy confidence and capability in Australia and is renowned for her innovative approach to leadership, organisational development and neuroscience as it applies to leadership. She has held senior roles in organisational development, learning and development, strategic recruitment and talent management fields. She has worked in a range of industries including retail, education, construction and engineering in both the private and public sectors across Australia and internationally. Her focus is on delivering customised interventions and programs to ensure her clients’ unique business and people requirements are met. She is a talented, innovative, high energy and passionate leadership and organisational development consultant dedicated to delivering exceptional outcomes. “What I love most about my work is knowing that I have had a positive impact, not only on the viability of the business I am helping, but also on the wellbeing and engagement of their people.” www.leadershiphq.com.au

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