Nearly 70% of American employees are not engaged at work, according to one Gallup estimate.
One of the biggest factors in engagement is the manager-employee relationship. Surveys have found that staff who rate their manager as “excellent” are five times more engaged than staff who rate their manager as “poor.”
Writing for Inc. magazine, Adam Fridman rounds up advice from organizational leadership experts about what managers can do to improve employee engagement.
1: Help employees grow
Dudley Slater, co-author of Fusion Leadership: Unleashing the Movement of Monday Morning Enthusiasts, says a lack of leadership has contributed to disengagement. He argues that leaders should spend more time considering “how they are influencing others.”
Specifically, employees want leaders who take an interest in their professional growth, Fridman writes. More than 40% of both Gen Xers and Baby Boomers—and nearly 60% of millennials—say growth opportunities are one of the most important things they look for in a job.
2: Articulate the broader mission
Employees who are inspired by their organization’s mission are more likely to be engaged, according to David Cunningham, a communication and leadership expert. Cunningham encourages managers to explain the impact of the organization and how each person’s skills help achieve that goal. “Everyone should be working toward the same things, from the CEO to the employees,” he says.
3: Let employees take risks
Marti Wolf, Chief Culture Officer at MailChimp, argues that “failure is a necessary part of growth.” Leaders that never let staff members take a risk will hamper their teams’ ability to innovate and adapt, Fridman writes. Wolf recommends listening to your employees’ ideas and making them feel that their suggestions are valuable.
4: Lighten up
Research has found that workers are 12% more productive when they’re having fun. Carisa Miklusak, CEO of tilr, says fun is a critical part of an origination’s success because it helps employees bring more energy to their work. A fun culture also helps attract and retain staff emmbers, Miklusak adds (Fridman, Inc., 10/2).