Leadership insight: Angle your behaviour to improve employee engagement

Posted by Cranfield School of Management on 14-Dec-2015 12:00:16

A company is more likely to perform well if it has a positive workplace culture. That’s because a good working environment leads to engaged staff, who are typically more likely to stay for longer, produce solid results, and contribute to the wider business. 

But engaging employees is a struggle for many businesses, with research finding that UK employees are amongst the least engaged in the world. A common cause for this is the way other people behave — after all, if a member of staff is surrounded by negative outlooks, they are more likely to behave and think in a similar way.

Nowhere does this issue need to be tackled more than at the top of the corporate ladder, where the interests of senior executives radiate throughout and influence the wider workforce. As such, executives who want to improve levels of engagement within their organisation need to pay attention to how their own actions may be impacting the business.

These tips are designed to help senior managers behave in a way that positively impacts workplace culture. 

  • Be mindful of others. Consider how your behaviour impacts others, and proactively encourage or acknowledge colleagues. Not only will this prevent you from being perceived as working in self-interest, it will nurture a trusting relationship between you and your subordinates.

  • Embrace change. Without change, people don’t learn — and if people don’t grow, they feel unappreciated and held back. Accept change as a requirement in today’s competitive business world, where if you resist updating traditional approaches, you are likely to alienate others and contribute to a cause of frustration. 

  • Consider the bigger picture. Look beyond the outdated belief that profit is the only measure of success. Welcome initiatives that go beyond the bottom-line, in the knowledge that investing in other causes may have incalculable benefits.

  • Be comfortable in your own skin. If you know what you stand for, you have a greater capacity to learn about the people in your team. Pay attention to your colleagues and establish what inspires or demotivates them. 

  • Broaden your perspective. Get to grips with how your work affects other areas of the business so you become more engaged with those around you. Becoming more exposed to other departments will fill others with the confidence that you are switched on and nurture stronger relationships. 

Read the full article here.

How we can help

The Centre for General Management Development (CGMD), within our management school, offers general management programmes that help managers at key career stages develop into leaders who influence the strategic course of their organisations.

The CGMD leadership development programmes are:

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