On World Mental Health Day, the world health organisation has informed us "If we don't act urgently, by 2030, Depression will be the leading Global illness." Following some research we conducted we discovered that whilst 93% of managers say they care about their employees, only 53% employees agree.
In Quarter 3 and Quarter 4 2015 our sister company Communicate to Inspire, conducted some research with YouGov with over 2,150 low-mid level employees and nearly 1,900 leaders and discovered this alarming fact.
Whilst many managers think that the key to employee happiness and discretionary effort at work is pay and other benefits, we discovered a different picture.
The findings showed that there are four key things that a leader can do to drive employee engagement which are:
1. Make people feel like they contribute
First, managers who make their employees feel like they contribute, welcoming their input and perspective, tend to have higher performing and satisfied employees.
2. Listening and being seen to value employees opinions
Managers who listen, understand and care about their staff have much more satisfied employees.
3. Show where your organisation is headed
Transparent communications about where the organisation is headed and the discussion of corporate goals, enabling your team to input into this process, were found to have a huge impact on employee engagement.
4. Get people together and talk to them
Finally, practical communications skills like public speaking influence employees to provide discretionary effort. These characteristics, more than manager sincerity or dedication to a corporate mission, tend to drive performance and employee well-being.
A lot of our work is angled towards the C-suite and senior leaders, with a healthy dose of development for emerging talent thrown in for good measure. But I’ve been asked several times in the last few months about communication support for frontline leaders, and when that happens, it usually means there’s something going on that’s worth exploring.
You can’t pick up a leadership book or piece of engagement research without someone telling you how fundamentally important ‘being a great communicator’ is in a leader’s skillset. And let’s face it, it’s not an assertion that many are going to argue with.