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Apr 14, 201402:34 PMLeader to Leader

with Terry Siebert

Why bosses are crucial to employee engagement

(page 1 of 2)

Last year Dale Carnegie Training asked MSW Research to undertake a benchmark, nationwide, cross-industry study of 1,500 employees to explore engagement in the workplace. The study discovered that among the multiple factors affecting employee engagement, a manager’s personal relationship with his or her direct reports is the single most influential. What follows are some of the conclusions that can be drawn from the study.

Employees in the study were asked to rate satisfaction with their immediate supervisor. Forty-nine percent of those employees who were very satisfied with their direct manager were engaged, and an incredible 80% of those who were dissatisfied with their immediate supervisor were disengaged.

It’s often said that employees don’t leave companies — they leave people. What managers do, how they behave, and what they say and how they say it affect employees’ attitudes about their jobs and their organization. Employees who are unhappy and dissatisfied with their immediate supervisor are less likely to identify with the organization’s vision and more likely to be absent or to resign. Employees who are engaged take pride in their work, support organizational goals, and are less willing to change jobs for a minor increase in salary.

A good supervisor makes employees feel valued and confident. A poor supervisor irritates them and makes them feel uncomfortable. The importance of this cannot be overstated. Employees’ relationship to their immediate supervisor affects the investment an organization makes in its people. When supervisors communicate positive emotions, employees feel good about the organization as a whole. On the other hand, negative reactions cause a decrease in productivity, leading to disengagement. Moving disengaged people to full engagement improves employee retention rates and leads to fewer sick days and less absenteeism.

Successful managers lead by example, which generates enthusiasm and inspires employees to work harder. A strong 62% of engaged employees say their manager sets a good example, compared to only 25% of those who are not fully engaged. Supervisors who delegate and trust their employees to carry out tasks empower their team to make decisions; 40% of those who feel empowered are engaged.


Apr 22, 2014 12:49 pm
 Posted by  Karrie

Excellent article-thank you for sharing. I teach leadership and employee engagement programs frequently to businesses. It absolutely starts and ends with GREAT leaders! Without a strong leader who is connected with his/her employees, nothing is carried out for long. Every company, every department, needs someone to be the visionary, to be able to communicate that vision to his/her team, and to seek out the strengths among the team that will help them reach their goals. It's about paying attention, and building relationships with each person. We all want to know we matter.


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Known for his Dale Carnegie training expertise, Terry Siebert is writing to inspire leaders to reach their greatest potential. Leadership, today more than ever, may mean the difference between closing the doors or opening new markets. Every month, he'll post help with mindset, business tools and more.

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