What’s Driving Employee Engagement?

Employee Engagement is Closely Tied to Who’s in the Manager Position

employee engagementDriving employee engagement is an important part of every talent management strategy, but, in many cases, companies are misidentifying the factors that influence engagement. Sure, it’s appealing to candidates to offer them flexible hours and decent paid time off, but there is another factor that influences employee engagement.

According to Gallup, having the right person in the manager position has a strong impact on employee engagement. In a surprising 82 percent of management decisions, companies choose the wrong candidate for a leadership role. You’ve probably experienced this situation, where you realize too late that, despite exhibiting some talent and skills, you hired a manager that didn’t have what you needed to take the team forward and build excitement around goals.

In many cases, companies promote an individual to management because they were an effective employee that wasn’t in a managerial role or because they have tenure with the company. Rather than determining that an individual has the necessary talent for a role, they are being promoted simply because they seem to deserve the opportunity.

There are a few key qualities that should be evident in a successful manager, and Gallup says that only one in 10 employees likely exhibits them:

  • They are able to motivate each employee by connecting their individual roles with the goals and mission of the organization.
  • They are able to drive outcomes and overcome adversity.
  • They embrace ideals related to accountability, transparency, trust and open dialogue.
  • Productivity, and not politics, drive their decisions.

Managers may be concealed within a team. If you’re witnessing sluggish leadership or teams that seem uninspired, consider that you may have individuals with these qualities hiding within an existing team. Watch for standout employees that drive a discussion by being willing to disagree with the majority on an important point, or those that seem to drive the team towards a goal.

Rely on data, not gut feelings. Once you think you’ve identified a star performer with management potential, back up your considerations with a behavioral analysis. This can give you objective information about how a candidate will behave in a variety of team and leadership settings. It won’t replace interviewing or other steps in your hiring process, but it does lend a measurable assessment to your decision that can help ensure you have the right candidate in place.

At PI Consulting Group, we use scientific assessment software and knowledge to make sure you achieve the greatest benefit toward your business objectives. Contact us for an appointment, and we’ll talk more about your talent management strategy and how we can help equip your team for success.