You might have noticed a stir of change occurring in management leadership training circles. It has a lot to do with keeping everyone engaged.
Thanks to an awareness of shockingly low levels of employee engagement across the board in American companies, things are finally starting to change for the better. However, to truly combat apathy and discontent in the workplace we’ll all have to work a lot harder toward that end.
The State of the American Workplace study reveals grim findings.
In 2013, Gallup released some certifiably disheartening news: Americans were, for the most part, tuned out while at work. 70% of us are unmotivated, disengaged, discontent, or all of the above.
The consequences of this sad state of affairs in our workplaces run deep and wide. From the mail room to the board room, everyone feels the effect, even those 30% who do manage somehow to remain engaged and highly productive at work despite their surroundings.
Low employee engagement levels lead to all sorts of productivity-killing behavior such as:
- increased absenteeism
- lowered levels of service
- decreased productivity
Of course these factors eventually translate into overall lower performance that’s company-wide. In short, employee engagement has an effect on the bottom line.
What happened to management leadership training?
What’s worse is that management didn’t seem to be doing a thing to combat this unsettling trend. But after that Gallup poll came out in 2013, the buzz got around and both leadership and management were on it to make things better.
They had their work cut out for them, too. Traditional management leadership training focused on anything but how to increase employee engagement. To raise engagement levels, the approach to training would have to be totally upended.
Knowing and doing…two different things.
The problem was, knowing you have to do something about engagement is one thing…knowing how to do that is another matter altogether!
What has Gallup since discovered in the two+ years since that survey first alerted us to the deplorable state of our attitudes at work? The single-most problematic aspect of management leadership training was that it wasn’t properly aligned with everything else the company was trying to get done.
In other words, perhaps management put great effort into coaxing employee engagement to higher levels, but it was treated as a microcosm. It should be part of a wider, holistic effort that starts at top levels of leadership.
Engagement directives need to come from the executive level.
So, while management should be applauded for taking the bull by the horn and implementing engagement strategies like better perks, leadership training, and team building initiatives like workshops and personality training, there’s another piece in the puzzle.
That piece is simple to implement, too. All it takes is for engagement directives to be incorporated into company culture. If employees know that the executive level is pushing for accountability and engagement too, they’re more likely to get on board.
Once organizational culture has a focus on engagement, the effectiveness of management leadership training will skyrocket.