Globally, only 15% of employees are engaged at work, and the rest of them reluctantly go to their workplaces with zero passion & energy. Poorly engaged employees tend to fail at performing effectively while highly engaged employees display great performance.

To get optimal performance out of your employees, leadership teams need to create an environment that focuses on employee’s well-being & shows empathy towards them. Before jumping into ways to create a sustainable employee engagement environment, let’s talk about the impact and importance of leadership.

Impact of leadership on employee engagement

Leadership is a fundamental employee engagement factor. Visionary and the right kind of leadership fosters a culture of engaged employees in the workplace.

Employees lose their engagement when they’re fearful or anxious about their future because of tough goals that are beyond their job description, that’s when they look towards the top leadership for help. At such times, if the leadership’s actions align with what they say, then employees perceive them as effective leaders.

Below are some ways to create an employee-centric workplace environment that helps leaders to engage their employees.

  • Leadership should make caring for employees a priority

If leadership thinks that employees are their true asset, then caring for them should be a top priority. Each employee can perform well beyond his/her job description. Leadership can push their employees to greater levels of excellence by recognizing their talents, beliefs, and goals. When employees experience a sense of being valued, then it enables them to perform better and show engagement in their job.

Leadership must know their employees -who they are and not just what they do. Every interaction of leadership teams with employees can influence employee’s potential and engagement. It certainly inspires employees to make discretionary efforts.

  • Create an environment that expects engagement from employees in realistic terms

If leadership teams or managers are not well-coached and self-aware, then they won’t be able to define engagement goals in realistic terms. Leadership should make engagement goals realistic and achievable. When the engagement goals are realistic, then employees strive to achieve them, and they succeed eventually. Consequently, employee’s day-to-day workplace experiences are improved, and they stay motivated and engaged.

Leadership should use emotive language and powerful descriptions to build & strengthen commitment and passion within the team.

  • Right & self-aware leadership puts an immediate impact on the employee’s engagement

Benefiting your employees with flexible working hours, bonuses, tours, and leaves is helpful to engage your employees. However, the top leadership can put an immediate impact. If the leadership is self-aware and empathetic towards their employees, then creating a workplace environment that encourages employees becomes very easy. Self-aware leadership knows how to lead themselves first before leading others.

Companies should hire team leaders or managers that are not only skilled & experienced, but they also possess unique qualities like engaging the employees and open communication. Keeping a check on managers and holding them accountable for poor employee engagement is very important. Managers or team leaders must be actively engaged in planning engagement activities and with their employees.