Leadership Engagement – Are Your Leaders Authentically Engaged?
One of the hottest topics in the ever-changing world of human resources continues to be employee engagement. And while there are as many different opinions about engagement as there are suggestions on how to improve it … human resource professionals continue to search for solutions to this complex idea.
They say things start at the top and it is no different when it comes to employee engagement. As a result of working with organizations for over 13 years, I have found that the cause of disengagement at the employee level is almost always reflective of disengagement at the leadership level. I have also noticed that at the heart of leaders who are disengaged there is usually some lack of authenticity.
Authenticity is all about being genuine and real. And when the authenticity of a leader is in question, people don’t trust them, and people will not follow leaders they do not trust. It’s as simple as that.
Some folks say that it is difficult to measure authenticity. The funny thing is that we all know or feel when a leader is or is not being authentic. What’s even more interesting is that some leaders are not even aware that they are not being true to themselves.
Here are 3 signs that your leaders might not be authentically engaged:
- They lack clarity of purpose and therefore are probably not being intentional in their leadership which causes a lack of focus.
- They may have been promoted to a leadership position as a reward for great performance, not because they had a burning desire to lead others.
- They don’t trust themselves as leaders so they may be trying to be someone or something they are not – what I refer to as the leadership authenticity gap.
These are just a few signs, there are others. However, if any of these signs are true for you or your leaders, your engagement efforts are probably failing.
Here are 3 possible solutions?
- Start by making sure you have leaders who have an inherent desire to lead people, not just for the bigger paycheck or the prestige.
- Give your leaders the proper training and coaching to develop their leadership skills. They need to know how to coach, develop their people, and to hold them accountable.
- Make sure your leaders are conscious and aware of their strengths, gifts, and brilliance. They will then be able to help others get conscious of their own strengths and gifts – and that will lead to higher engagement levels throughout the organization.
No one ever said that being a leader was going to be easy. However, when you have leaders who are authentic, real, and engaged, you will have a workforce that is the same … and isn’t that what you wanted in the first place?