While most of us would intuitively come to these conclusions, this research report offers compelling data and insights based upon surveying over half a million employees across more than 5,000 organizations every year. The report answers three questions:
- What is the relationship between employee engagement and manager effectiveness?
- Does the impact of manager effectiveness change based upon demographic differences such as company size, employee age and position?
- Does the impact of manager effectiveness differ by industry?
As we review the exhaustive research results, we will propose several action steps you will need to consider in light of this data. We believe that manager effectiveness is the "transmission" of an organization, one that, properly led, can result in more engaged employees that will be more productive and stay with you for a longer time.
First, while many manager characteristics and actions matter in terms of engaging and retaining top talent, it can all be broken down into ten overall categories that combine to describe employee engagement:
- Alignment With Goals - This category describes how well the employee
understands and agrees with the organization's strategic direction and the
extent to which they understand how to contribute toward that end. An
employee may have their oar in the water, but do they know what direction
the ship is headed? And if so, do they understand how their oar can move
the ship toward its goal?
- Individual Contribution - At its core, employee engagement is the willingness of
employees to exert discretionary effort toward their work. This category
contains two basic dimensions. First, do employees consistently think
about ways to do their jobs better? And second, do employees feel that
they will be recognized for doing so? Of course, these two dimensions are
linked: if employees don't perceive that extra effort will yield
recognition, there is little incentive for them to do so.
- Team Effectiveness - Most employees spend a significant portion of their
working lives interacting with a team. So whether a company has five
employees or 5,000 employees, it's no wonder team effectiveness has a
significant impact on engagement. Can employees count on their coworkers
to go the extra mile and produce quality work? Is it clear who is
accountable for what? Do employees feel that the team collaborates and
utilizes individual strengths? This category speaks to what Jim Collins
refers to in Good to
Great as getting "...the right people on the bus, the
right people in the right seats, and the wrong people off the
- Retention Risk -
This category describes an employee's intent to stay with the
organization. It is a measure of whether the employee perceives
opportunities for growth and development. The category also contains an
advocacy dimension: how likely is an employee to recommend the employer as
a great place to work. All of these factors - intent to stay, perceived
opportunity for growth, advocacy - tend to be highly correlated with
overall employee engagement.
- Trust With Coworkers - Loyalty to one's company is not the only measure of
loyalty that matters. Loyalty toward coworkers and camaraderie with
colleagues play a significant role in building employee engagement. Have
you ever heard someone say, "I love the people..." when asked
about their job? While the Team Effectiveness category deals with how well
teams do their jobs, this category measures the relationship and closeness
- Manager Effectiveness - The type and amount of supervision and direction that
leaders give their employees has an extremely strong impact on employee
engagement. This category measures effectiveness in terms of how well
managers perform their jobs and also how much respect employees have for
their managers. Employees who believe that their managers and supervisors
truly care about their development are more likely to be engaged in their
- Trust in Senior Leaders - One of the previously mentioned categories, Alignment
with Goals, deals with the degree to which employees buy into the
direction of the company. This category measures the degree to which
employees believe in the leaders setting those goals. The issue here is
the employee's perception of senior leaders themselves. Do employees
perceive leadership to be capable and trustworthy? It's possible to
believe in the direction of the ship without believing in the ship's
- Feeling Valued -
As you might expect, whether an employee feels valued is highly correlated
with their engagement. This category encompasses perceptions about the
organization's commitment to its people - from investing in employee
development to fairly compensating employees to commitment toward making
the company a great place to work.
- Job Satisfaction - This category focuses on the intrinsic value an
employee finds in their role. Apart from office politics, and strategic
direction, does the employee's job expand or contract their contentment?
Does the role challenge them, utilize their unique strengths, and fit into
their long-term career aspirations? All things equal, happy employees are
more likely to be engaged employees.
- Benefits - This category measures the degree to which employees believe the benefits offered by their employer meet their needs and whether they believe the company's benefits package is unique in the marketplace.
About LSA Global
Founded in 1995, LSA Global is a leading performance consulting and training firm that helps high growth technology, services, and life-science companies create a competitive advantage by powerfully aligning their culture and talent with their strategy. Learn more about getting aligned