Employers suffer not only production losses due to employee disengagement, but also financial losses. According to Work Institute's 2018 Retention Report, the cost of employee turnover will reach up to more than $650 billion by 2020.
Dale Carnegie Training conducted a national study and found that only 61% of employees are “fully engaged,” while 25% are “disengaged.” In other words, many employees are not fully engaged and can be considered unproductive and inefficient. Employers must figure out why disengagement occurs and how to prevent it.
According to the study, the most influential factor that contributes to disengagement is relationships between employees and their direct supervisors. It is possible that companies might be looking for the wrong traits when selecting and developing leaders. These traits are often not conducive to positive employee relations between superiors and subordinates.
For example, companies often hire authoritative, strong-minded managers because they demonstrate leadership. However, these qualities alone can quickly create a negative workplace because some leaders promote apprehension rather than motivation. Managerial roles include giving information and instruction, but unless employees respect and trust their supervisors, the work environment will remain dismal at best.
In order to prevent disengagement, companies should look for the following qualities when hiring leaders, supervisors, and managers:
1) Excellent Listening Skills
Knowing how to listen is a key aspect for the better functioning of companies. In fact, it is a very important factor in the face of the growth and profitability of the company.
An exceptional boss will stand out from the rest when he/she listens to his/her team and fellow employees. He/she should encourage good communication in which the other parties speak and feel heard. To listen is key for the work climate and for the proper functioning of the company.
It is not about hearing, but listening (a.k.a. pay attention) without interrupting, and creating a sense empathy. Knowing how to listen is much more than the action itself, it is a philosophy of life.
2) Displays Empathy
A command can be exercised without any empathy; however, a leader will not be a complete leader if he/she doesn't practice empathy, which is a key competence of emotional intelligence that becomes clear when communicating and relating to others.
When employees feel understood, trust-based relationships increase, leading to greater collaboration and improved productivity. This is why it is so important to promote it in managers, executives and team leaders, since it is related to excellent leadership.
3) Openly Communicates
One of the main qualities of a leader is that he/she must be able to communicate and influence people. If communication does not exist, there will be no followers and in turn, there will be no leadership.
Much of a manager's work is knowing how to communicate the company's strategy both internally and externally, so he/she must be transparent, clear and concise, ensuring that the message being conveyed is correctly understood.
Communicating at every moment with the team is one of the most important skills that a leader can develop to be successful.
When concerned with revenue, productivity, and employee disengagement, employers should carefully select and train leaders. Because these leaders hold critical roles, they will directly influence employee productivity and motivation. Finding the right leaders who listen and communicate candidly will improve employee engagement and promote a positive work environment.
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