Employee engagement is an essential component of a successful organization.  Higher engagement levels lead to lower turnover rates and higher productivity and profitability.

Engagement levels of U.S. employees reached a new high of 34.1 percent in March, according to research from Gallup. Engagement levels had been hovering around 32.5 percent in January and February before making the 1.6-percentage-point jump.  However, in March, 49.5 percent of employees were not engaged in their work, and 16.5 percent were actively disengaged.

Comparatively, the U.S. numbers are promising as Germany is facing an engagement crisis. According to Gallup’s Germany’s Employee Engagement Problem Begins with Managers study, only 16 percent of employees are engaged in their work while 68 percent are not engaged and 16 percent are actively disengaged. While there are many reasons for disengagement in the workplace, one of the most common reasons falls on management, notes the research. This means that management, along with their strategies and business models, directly affect whether or not employees will remain engaged in their positions, or if they will remain with the company at all, as 48 percent of disengaged workers in Germany have considered quitting because of their managers.

Because managers play such an important role in employee engagement, Organizational leaders benefit from taking the time to assess their company’s culture, determine if respect is prevalent and implement the following strategies to improve engagement.

Create a culture of respect to improve employee engagement levels.

Assess and plan.

Your company’s culture can be an ever-changing entity when strong managers pull the culture to their leadership style. engagement with employees and communication patterns.  Employees tell us frequently that working for one manager was engaging, challenging and rewarding and then when transferred to another department,management behavior was less than exceptional and an absolutely turn off. Therefore, it’s important that at all times you understand where you and your team members stand. One way to do this is through a 360 team behavior and culture assessment like the TIGERS 360 Team Behavior Survey. The TIGERS 360 Team Survey provides an initial survey to assess the level of  trust, interdependence, genuineness, empathy, risk and success within the workplace and between departments, as well as strengths and growth opportunities. Leaders receive strategies to improve their growth opportunities, and two additional follow-up surveys allow leaders to track their leadership and team development improvement over time.  Unlike surveys that deliver a one time picture, the TIGERS 360 Team Behavior Survey.delivers three surveys in one. So think of a survey like a bucket. Inside each bucket are three surveys because sound and responsible change occurs over time.

Show respect to others.

Respect for self and others is one of the most important elements that needs to be present in the workplace. And in order for others to respect you, you need to show others respect first. Keeping your language civil and professional is one way to show others respect, but your actions play an even larger role. For example, showing up late to meetings, knee jerk comments made when you are emotional and constantly checking your phone are ways that you show disrespect to your coworkers. Running late every once in a is sometimes unavoidable.  When you make a habit of it, you let your team members know that you don’t view their time as valuable. To combat this, schedule a buffer between meetings to give yourself flexibility to make the next meeting. Constant distractions, such as your phone in your hand, tell your team members that you value what they are saying — unless you get a text or email. So when you’re meeting with someone, put down the phone, turn off the ringer and focus on the person in front of you.

Promote transparency.

You can’t create a culture of trust if you are not honest with your team members. Transparency means sharing important information within all levels of the organization, from the top down. This doesn’t mean that leaders need to share all information that comes their way, but leaders should not be consciously deceiving their team members. Performance and retention rates suffer when leaders try to create the illusion of safety by fabricating information. Therefore, to improve engagement levels, leaders need to be open and transparent with their team members. Organizations that promote transparency on all levels create a stable environment in which employees feel safe enough to voice their concerns without fear of repercussion. When employees feel safe, organizations benefit from stronger performances and higher retention rates. The TIGERS 360 Team Behavior survey helps you identify both teams and leaders who can increase their success with proper training, coaching and development.

Employee engagement is one of the most important success strategies, so leaders need to take the time to assess their cultures and implement strategies to improve their standings. Lower levels of unplanned absenteeism, safety incidents, shrinkage and turnover rates are all associated with a more engaged workforce, as well as increased profits, customer satisfaction and employee productivity. Therefore, leaders should be concerned with engagement levels. Because managers affect levels so much, one area that they should focus on is respect. To create a culture of respect within the workplace, leaders can assess their current environment and create a plan for improvement; show respect to others by showing up on time and putting down their phones; and promote transparency by sharing important information without deceiving their team members. With these strategies, leaders can improve respect and increase employee engagement levels in their organizations.

We gathered the following articles to contribute more to this conversation:

Germany’s Employee Engagement Problem Begins With Managers 
• U.S. Employee Engagement Reaches New High in March 
• 7 Ways You’re Losing the Respect of Your Co-Workers (Without Even Knowing It) 
• Big Companies Don’t Have to Be Soulless Places to Work 

360-teamsurveyAbout TIGERS Success Series, Inc.

TIGERS® Success Series is a Bend, Oregon Leadership and Team Improvement Consultant that helps committed leaders build more cooperation among employees and collaboration between departments for improved growth, revenue, purpose and impact.

We do this by deploying the TIGERS team process that improves workforce behaviors that are anchored by trust, interdependence, genuineness, empathy, risk resolution and success. Providing diagnostics and customized team interventions,  you can improve both work culture and transform your adequate teams into exceptional ones.

We also license and train HRD Executives, Project Managers, Managers, Trainers and Team Consultants in the use of our award winning resources.  For more information, call 1+ 541-385-7465.