How Senior Leadership Can Drive Employee Engagement

Employee engagement is an incredibly important topic in today’s business world as it should be. Companies that have high employee engagement are 40% more profitable and 78% more productive than companies that don’t. Time to learn how to improve employee engagement.

When it comes down to how to engage employees many studies and articles point towards managers. Some studies even show that 70% of engagement has to do with managers. While managers play a critical role in frontline employee engagement, senior leaders may play an even greater role.

Senior leadership is one of the greatest drivers to have an engaged workforce for organizations all over the world. While middle managers help drive the engagement of their direct reports, senior leaders are critical for driving it from the top down.

Here are 3 ways senior leaders can improve employee engagement.

1.   On boarding

Senior leadership can be involved in the onboarding process of new employees. Top leaders can share vision, missions, and values or the new employees in a short period of time. 

The impact of new employees engaging with senior leaders in the first week of their job is incredible. What this says to the new employees is that the company’s senior leaders care, are engaged, and believe in its mission and vision.

 2. Engaging with middle management

Senior leaders are typically the most engaged group in almost any organization but don’t drive the day to day engagement. The day to day engagement is driven by middle management.

Middle managers can struggle with engagement because they feel the pressure from two sides- those they report to and those who report to them. They need the support and encouragement of those above them to drive engagement.

Managers need for senior leaders to lay out clear expectations about what their role is in driving frontline engagement. Clarity is key when setting expectations as people will almost always follow clarity.

If senior leaders are highly engaged with the middle managers, the middle managers are more likely to be engaged with the employees that are direct reports to them. Engagement from the top drives engagement to the bottom.

3. Endorsing engagement driving activities

Senior leadership are the vision casters for the organizations they serve. Because of this, they should be endorsing engagement driving activities. Activities that produce high engagement include coaching, celebration, and clarity of mission, vision, and values. Read more about these three here.

Coaching refers to the development that leaders give to their direct reports. Senior leaders can strongly endorse and encourage for coaching and development to be happening throughout the entire organization.

Celebration of people’s hard work is one of the easiest and can be one of the least expensive ways to drive engagement. Rewarding and recognizing people for the hard work beyond pay has proven to be the greatest driver of employee engagement globally.

Clarity of vision, mission, and values is also a huge driver for employee engagement. Senior leaderships that are the megaphones for who the company is(values), what they do(mission), and where they’re going(vision) encourage managers do the same with her team. People will always follow clarity and when their vision, mission, and values are clear team members are more likely to engage with it.

While managers will always be important but top leadership will always be key to an engaged workforce. What is one or two things you can begin doing today to have a more engaged workforce.

(Stats taken from report from Aon’s article)