Leaders play a pivotal role in the overall engagement and employee retention rate of any organization. The best leaders attract and retain great talent and have the skills and ability to mentor, develop, and inspire employees to do their best work. Unfortunately the data on employee engagement in the U.S. suggests that most employees are not terribly excited about their work or organization, which ultimately reflects the quality of the leaders that influence them.
According to this article from Gallup only about three out of ten employees in the United States is engaged in their work and 70% of the variance associated with engagement can be attributed to the influence of managers. Organizations that care about retaining outstanding employees and attracting dynamic talent need to be mindful about the leaders they have in place to reinforce their vision and mission.
If you’ve ever had a particularly demeaning or berating supervisor, you can likely to relate to this example. Imagine you work for a dream organization, but you have a heinous, bullying boss. In that type of situation, it’s really tough to see through that manager’s influence to the grander scale mission and vision of the organization. Any business that tolerates overly negative, berating, or passive leaders runs the risk of losing talented employees over time, and will begin to struggle to attract new talent in the long run. In an environment where unemployment is at its lowest rate in years, the risk of tolerating terrible managers based solely on their skill set or a displaced sense of loyalty is absolutely detrimental.
Organizations that invest in identifying and developing strong potential leaders create an environment that is attractive to both current and prospective employees. Everyone can relate to a leader who is genuinely invested in helping them achieve professional goals and who is committed to helping them maximize their potential. In the bestselling book Primal Leadership, the authors reference numerous peer reviewed studies suggesting that the emotions of a leader are absolutely contagious.
If you had the ability to choose, what attitudes would you want to catch? Give me the upbeat, uplifting, and inspiring work environment any day.
Source: Jon Sexton is SVP of Culture and Leadership Development at Vibrant Credit Union. He focuses on facilitating employee engagement initiatives, developing unique leadership development programs, and sustaining Vibrant’s surprisingly different work culture. He recently spoke at the DISRUPT event in the Quad Cities, sponsored by MRA. DISRUPT is an information exchange designed to energize, inform and empower people in the HR field. Learn more about DISRUPT here.