Leaders have an incredible opportunity to influence and strengthen employee engagement. Recognizing that engagement ultimately impacts productivity and organizational performance, you have the power to affirm engagement as a strategic priority, mobilize your network of leaders, and hold them accountable for embedding proven engagement practices.
Whether you are a corporate, regional, or facility leader, you have the power to shape an engaging environment in your organization.
Yet all too often, a leader’s behaviors end up alienating versus engaging employees. Consider this statement (an actual quote) from a nursing assistant warning her co-worker that they had visitors from their corporate office.
“The suits are here. I guess the higher-ups decided to leave their ivory tower to check up on us.”
You could hear the cynicism and mistrust dripping from her voice.
Why might employees feel cynical and suspicious of people in higher level roles? According to the 2017 Edelman Trust Barometer, 63% of employees don’t trust their leaders. When people experience their leaders as aloof, disingenuous, arrogant or patronizing, it’s pretty clear why they might feel resentful.
Now you may be thinking, “That’s not me! I care about my employees!” Perhaps, but guess what? New research tells us that having positional power can lead to behaviors that are inauthentic and ego-laden.