New research by ADP, a leading provider of human resources software and services, suggests managers striving to understand the art of employee engagement take lessons from the “team leaders” who report to them.
ADP says just 16% of employees surveyed said they are “fully engaged.”
So, what are the other 84% up to all day long?
If you’re a manager concerned with elevating engagement, reducing turnover and attracting top talent, you’ll want to see these key takeaways from ADP’s international survey of 19,000 workers:
- Biggest driver of engagement is whether you work on a team: Employees who identify as part of a team are 2.3 times more likely to be fully engaged.
- Trust is a foundation of engagement: Employees who trust their team leader are 12 times more likely to be fully engaged in their work
- The United Arab Emirates has the highest percentage of fully engaged workers at 26%, while China has the lowest with just 6%. Engagement in the United States sits at 17%
According to ADP, the study surveyed more than 19,000 employees (one thousand per country in a stratified random sample) around the globe to measure their level of engagement and identify the work conditions most likely to attract and retain talent.
Team leaders drive engagement
Results suggest a real driver of engagement is team leadership. Employees who worked in teams reported being 2 to 3 times more engaged than those who work alone. The finding is especially notable since in most organizations team leaders do not have direct authority over the other employees on the team.
In some ways, it should be no surprise that team leadership drives engagements as team leaders are in the trenches with their fellow employees day-in and day-out, sharing directly in the wins and losses and being held accountable by their managers for the results.
Because of this close interaction, team leaders generally have the opportunity to connect with employees on a far more personal level than the typical manager does. A good team leader knows how to find and fire-up the motivation insides good employees.
Good team leaders generally:
- Develop a strategy the team will use to reach its goal
- Provide any training that team members need
- Communicate clear instructions to team members
- Listen to team members’ feedback
- Monitor team members’ participation to ensure the training they are being provided is being put into use, and also to see if any additional training is needed
- Manage the flow of day to day operations
- Create and distribute reports to update managers on the progress
Great team leaders take it up a notch by having:
- A clear elevating goal — they have a vision
- Results driven structure — visions have a business goal
- Competent team members — with right number and mix of diversity
- Unified commitment — they are a team, not a group
- A collaborative climate — aligned towards a common purpose
- High standards of excellence — they have group norms
- Principled leadership — the central driver of excellence
- External support — they have adequate resources