Are leaders responsible for employee engagement?
Last year, I wrote an article suggesting that leadership performance should be measured via a hybrid of results and employee engagement. But to what extent can leaders be held responsible for the motivation and engagement of their people?
To a certain extent, each team member must be responsible for their own motivation and career development. However, leaders can have a big impact on engagement via the working environment they create:
- Team working
- Individual recognition and appreciation
- Career and professional development opportunities
- Goal setting
- Activity management
- Keeping people informed
- Providing feedback
- Creating an environment of trust and mutual respect
- Clear vision and strategy
It quickly becomes clear that the vast majority of factors that affect employee engagement can be positively (or negatively) impacted by the leader. Sure, there are some organizational factors such as pay and conditions and environmental infrastructure. And of course, each employee has to take some resposibility for their own working environment and how they engage with the organization’s vision and values.
But in the final analysis, I firmly believe that it is the leader that can have the greatest impact on their team’s level of engagement. As such, organizations need to move towards the model that I offered in my previous article – leaders have to be rewarded and recognized based on a combination of business results and employee engagement.