Leadership, EQ and Enhanced C-IQ Coach

Employee Engagement Drives Results

A Gallup global survey published in 2013 states that in India only 9% of employees in the corporate sector are “Engaged”, whilst 60% are “Not Engaged” and a whopping 31% are “Actively Disengaged”. The world average numbers are 13%, 63% and 24%. Gallup Survey 2013. I suspect that it is no different in most owner-managed businesses and certainly worse amongst Indian babudom.

Joel Head, a Consultant, in a webinar hosted by Six Seconds Organization, defines these categories as follows.

Engaged: These people are positively connected to their organization, their supervisors and their colleagues. They are passionate about their work and are alive and energizing at their workplace. They are always in state of flow, everything seems to get done effortlessly. They are willing to get their job done not matter what. They are often found to go around their supervisors to see their customers satisfied. They go above and beyond their call of duty.

Not Engaged: These people are at work but their brains are not. They have no energy or passion for their work. They are only interested in putting in time.

Actively Disengaged: These people are harmful to their organization. They are dissatisfied and disgruntled. They act out their unhappiness in many ways and spread their dissatisfaction around. Thus, they cause damage to the organization’s morale and undermine its results.

In praise of the “engaged” few, Joel, goes on to say, “People who are engaged, not only behave differently than their disengaged counterparts but also positively drive revenue and profitability at their workplace”.

With an objective to make employees “engaged” management offer alluring perks, incentives, benefits, compensations etc. All these are in the nature of extrinsic motivations. These may get results in case of blue collared workers performing mechanical and repetitive work. It may help to a small extent in case of “knowledge workers”.  30 years of research has shown that happier or satisfied people are not necessarily “engaged” employees. Engagement is an internal thing and it is intrinsic motivation, which drives it.

Joel Head talks of six “social connectors” which are key to maintain and increase engagement levels.

Sense of Status and Sense of Competence: A threat to employee’s position in the organization or his competence creates fear and is intrinsically de-motivating.

Sense of Autonomy: When an employee is empowered to decide what, how, when and with whom he works to achieve the goals and targets then he has ownership and responsibility. This is a strong intrinsic motivator.

Sense of Relatedness: An employee is strongly motivated when he senses to belong and needs to be accepted as a part of the organization.

Sense of Fairness: It is very important that the employee sees, experiences and hears fairness around him.

Sense of Progress: It is motivating for an engaged employee to know that he is personally developing and his work contributes to the progress of the organization.

Sense of Purpose: A Purpose which has to be larger than the Organisational or Personal Goals but which includes others and society at large.  It is for the leader to create a strong vision of a Purpose. It gives one a meaning to life and makes life more than a mere existing. It can become each person’s internal compass.

It is essential for Leaders to nurture these “social connectors” so that they may not de-motivate the “engaged” employees and increase the percentage of “engaged” in an organization. To succeed in this it is essential for a Leader to be emotionally intelligent. The anchor piece in this is TRUST. This emotion is the bedrock of relationship and it begets trust. The Leader must be able to deal with emotions like anger, fear, insecurity, frustration, worry and such others in a smart way. That means harness the data, information and energy contained in the emotions and integrate with his thinking. Besides this he must revalidate the relevancy of his judgments, beliefs, biases, presumptions and filters.

EQ drives engagement and engagement drives results. A business case of Amadori, an Italian company, largest supplier of meat to McDonald in Europe, substantiates the statement. Read the Amadori case

One Response to Employee Engagement Drives Results

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