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How leadership affects employee engagement

When business leaders establish their organization culture, they are expecting to create an atmosphere that enhance employee engagement and business success. Higher employee engagement not only benefits the business leaders, but also benefits the entire organization by enhance organizational performance, increase productivity, and obtain competitive advantages. Employee engagement is critical to success both for small business and big corporations. However, majority of business leaders today continue to struggle with motivating their employees and leading them to success. According to Hougaard and Carter (2018), “a 2016 Gallup engagement survey found that only 13 percent of the global workforce is engaged, while 24 percent are actively disengaged.” Based on the massive researches, Hougaard and Carter further concluded that organizational leaders failed to engaged employees because they aren’t meet employees’ needs of finding meaning, connection, goals, and happiness in their work. Leaders must find ways to get their employees to be connected to, satisfied with, and passion about their jobs.

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To improve employee engagement, business leaders should first be aware of the symptoms of disengagement. Robbins and Coulter (2014) described that highly engaged employees are enthusiastic about and share value to their work, but disengaged employees are indifferent and have a don’t care attitude. They generally show up for work, but have no energy or intend to put their efforts into their jobs (p. 449). Disengaged workers are less productive, less motivate and less collaborate which can negatively impacts business’ operations and success. Companies with low percentage of employee engagement are more likely to suffer. If the phenomena of employee disengagement continue to exist in a organization, it will further cause the dysfunction within that organization. According to Randall (2017), “the level of employee engagement has a very strong correlation to an organization’s performance” (p.4). Galahad (as cited in Randall, 2017) also mentioned that cost of dysfunction and employee disengagement in the U.S. was between 450 billion to 550 billion per year. The high cost can be reduced if the managers are able to found effective ways to overcome the dysfunction and re-engage employees in the difficult time.

Leadership plays a significant role in strengthens employee engagement. Back in industry revolution period, with the influence of the scientific management and introduce of assembly line, the nature of work was more robotic and employees were more motivate by their daily wage. However, the nature of work slowly changes. In today’s business, business professionals are more look forward employees’ share of knowledge, innovative and collaborative skills. For Employees, they are not only look for the amount of wages, but also look for the alignment with organizational culture, personal value, feeling of fulfillment, and career success. Randall (2017) wrote about the ten universal drivers of employee engagement. One of the drivers was “confidence in leadership and organization’s strategy”, stated that employee engagement and commitment started with the understands and believes in organization’s strategy and its leader. Leadership defined as a process of influencing a group to achieve goals (Robbins and Coulter, 2014). Motivational leadership referred to leading others by motivating them to reach certain goals. How motivational leadership helped employee engagement? Jensen (2018) argued that leaders can motivate employees by making connections with them outside of the work

environment, knowing employees’ needs and want, and building a trust relationship with them. Leaders should encourage employees to reach their full potential. They can do this by scheduling one on one meeting to know their employees in a deeper level (p.96-97).

Beside one on one meeting, there must be other practical tools that leaders can use to engage employees. Extensive organization in the U.S. or around the world still struggle finding ways to improve employee engagement. Business professionals in Kentucky should share their knowledge, experiences and strategies on promoting employee engagement with current and future leaders in different business field.

Dr. Faridah Awang authorized the research in order to investigate how leadership affects employee engagement. The finalized report will be received by Dr. Tom Erekson, Dean of the College of Business and Technology at Eastern Kentucky University on November 14, 2018.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the study was to examine how leadership, motivation, and employee engagement affects the success of business professionals.

The report answered the following research questions:

1.Does motivational leadership lead to employee retention?

2.How does leadership affect productivity in the workplace?

3.How does motivation re-engaged and restore employee commitment?

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