I was speaking at a networking event just east of Cleveland last Monday. The topic was really about leading an engaged sales force. Seated at the table were four business owners, four or five sales managers, and in one case, a top sales person from the organization. The question was asked by one of the business owners who owned an accounting and business consulting firm.
How would you have responded?
Here is what we know to be true:
- 29% of employees are actively engaged
- 45% of employees are not engaged
- 26% of employees are actively disengaged
- Engagement numbers increase for senior level employees, but only by 10-12%
We all know the summer college age help who mostly fit into the middle category — just putting in time to get a check and out of here as close to 5 p.m. or earlier. What about the $300K executive I was coaching two months ago who was so actively disengaged he had his résumé on the street intently looking for another job? We could also give just the opposite answers as well for the teenager who is “all in” and the senior executive who goes above and beyond the call of duty daily. What about our professional athletes? If money was the critical factor, then all we would need to do is pay more and engagement would skyrocket.
Another executive at last week’s meeting explained all the processes and systems they put in place to drive engagement at their organization, from vacation days to comp days, bonus plans, weekly lunches, company socials, a new company gym, sick leave, baby leave, etc. However, as excited as he was, when asked how he thought his company engagement scores would compare to all the research, he admitted they were about the same and he was hoping to pick up a couple new ideas at that meeting.
Key point: It is more of a leadership issue than a management issue.
Based on research, the following three focuses drive employee engagement:
- Satisfaction with immediate manager
- Belief in senior leadership
- Pride in the organization
There is, however, a fourth factor that overrides all three. It is the individual’s willingness not to be a victim and take 100% responsibility for his or her own engagement attitudes.
Solution: Dale Carnegie Training. For supervisors and mid-level leaders, because they influence the most number of employees. For all individuals, because Dale Carnegie training is the only known training program that gives you the “how-to” to maintain a positive attitude and be personally responsible.
Human relations principle of the week:
“Use encouragement. Make the fault easy to correct.” ~ Dale Carnegie
This post is brought to you by the good folks at Dale Carnegie Training of Western and Central PA, providers of professional development and management development courses and information in Pennsylvania. We would love to connect with you on Facebook and Twitter @dalecarnegiepa.