The Senior Leader's Role in Employee Engagement

According to recent global engagement studies, approximately only 13% of the global workforce is highly engaged. More importantly, according to a recent Gallup study, only 1 out of 3 workers in the United States strongly agree that they have received recognition or praise for doing good work in the past week.

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One of the biggest reasons employee engagement is so low is because there is such a lack of recognition, feedback and praise from senior leaders for the majority of those employees who do good work. If you think about it, right now at almost any given company, it is common for employees to feel that their best efforts and contributions are going unnoticed!

Senior leaders must remember that if they don’t recognize their talent, they are missing the opportunity to tap into their discretionary energy. If a senior leader needs a bottom line reason, employees who do not feel adequately recognized are more than twice as likely to quit within the next year. 

In my experience the best senior leaders understand the huge opportunity of linking engagement and performance. Said differently, the vast majority of senior leaders might be missing one of the greatest opportunities that they have to drive sustained performance. 

Recognition and feedback on performance gets ROI when done from any leader, however, the ROI is significantly greater when this recognition and feedback comes from senior leaders. My belief is that the most effective recognition is authentic and personalized to each individual. The key for leaders is to know what makes it meaningful and significant for the employee.

Senior leaders have a powerful tool at their disposal that the majority are not leveraging. This tool is recognition and feedback, as employees will remember personal feedback from a senior leader. Senior leaders can invest a small amount of time providing recognition and appreciation which can produce a significant and lasting positive impact on an employee’s performance. 

If you think about it, acknowledgment and feedback from a C-level leader can be a career highlight for a talented employee. 

If you are a senior leader and you want employee engagement then you go first!

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Peter Psichogios is the President of Global Engagement Solutions whose mission is to help companies create engaging employee and customer experiences. Prior to joining GES Peter Psichogios served as an executive member of one of the largest Instructional System Association companies in the world. In this capacity, he led all the front-end analysis and worked directly with Dr. Ken Blanchard, leading the large-scale e-Learning and employee engagement initiatives. Peter has been fortunate to work with the who's who of the Fortune 500 and many of the world's fastest growing companies, helping them deliver innovative learning, engagement and recognition solutions.