It’s not uncommon to occasionally feel disengaged at work – we know from countless polls that this is a common issue. For millennials in particular, the numbers are troubling; 70% of millennials in the workforce are either not engaged or are actively disengaged.

One of the major reasons why employee engagement is so low is because new leaders on the front lines are not equipped to lead.

First-level, frontline managers lead the biggest population of workers in organizations, yet many workers feel unhappy, uninspired, and lack empowerment. Data supports this:

  • Approximately 60% of employees report a loss of engagement, productivity, and turnover with poor frontline leadership, and
  • 25% of organizations experience profit loss due to ineffective frontline leaders.1

So, what can leaders do to help employees become more engaged at work?

Understand the 4 Areas of Employee Engagement

At CCL, we recommend a simple and intuitive framework. We believe these are the 4 factors that drive employee engagement:

  • Manager engagement,
  • Job engagement,
  • Team engagement, and
  • Organizational engagement.

By focusing on these 4 key areas, leaders have the power to increase the engagement of the people they lead and serve in a more targeted way.

Infographic: 4 factors that drive employee engagement

How Leaders Can Improve the 4 Areas of Employee Engagement

Here are steps that leaders at all levels of an organization can take to increase these 4 areas of employee engagement:

  • Manager Engagement: Engaged employees feel energized and connected to their boss. Improving manager engagement builds trust and loyalty. To increase manager engagement, provide routine feedback through holding coaching conversations and build trust on your team by delegating more.
  • Job Engagement: Employees are more engaged when they are actively involved and dedicated to their job. Increase job engagement by bringing in internal or external stakeholders who have directly benefited from the work their employees have done, and by not micromanaging. Increased job engagement is associated with better work performance. Work on increasing accountability.
  • Team Engagement: Employees are more engaged when they are motivated and excited by their coworkers. Increase team engagement by providing direction, alignment, and commitment (DAC). Increasing team engagement enhances team effectiveness. Here’s how to make good leadership happen with DAC.
  • Organizational Engagement: Engaged employees are devoted to their organization and feel passionately about its mission. Increase organizational engagement by advocating for training and development opportunities for their direct reports. Increased organizational engagement is associated with lower employee turnover and better customer satisfaction. This checklist gives managers 4 ways to develop their people.

Using Data to Increase Employee Engagement

We’re not suggesting that improving employee engagement is simple or even easy, but it is possible. And it can transform your organization’s ability to get results.

Organizations are more likely to invest in improvement efforts that have a measurable business impact. By better understanding employee engagement across these 4 key areas, leaders can more quickly and efficiently target interventions to increase low-scoring engagement areas.

For example, if your organization’s data on employee engagement shows workers are highly engaged with their jobs, organization, and teams, but less so with their managers, leadership development interventions should be directed specifically toward increasing manager engagement, and could include teaching leaders how to coach, develop, and provide feedback to others. Such an intervention would have the greatest possible return on investment because it’s targeted at the specific area of employee engagement that’s most needed.

At CCL, we’ve developed a process that enables companies to identify what changes they can make to improve employee engagement — and reap the benefits that come with it — using people analytics as a foundation. Our process provides a systematic, data-driven, measurable process to give your employee engagement a sustainable shot in the arm.

It’s time to take a new, directed approach to measuring and managing the 4 areas of employee engagement, and using that to strengthen the fabric of your entire organization.

Ready to Take the Next Step?

Learn more about how your organization can increase these 4 key areas of employee engagement. Our leadership analytics experts can partner with your HR team help you unlock the power of your people data.

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