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Leadership Development and Employee Engagement: What’s the Connection?


How does your organization compare?

If your employees were asked to compare their workplace to the “100 Best Companies to Work For,” how would they rate their organization? Companies on this list understand that motivated, engaged employees are the foundation of their success.

Today more than ever people are the source of the critical skills and knowledge that provide organizations a sustainable, competitive advantage. Level of engagement influences organizational performance and enhances retention, productivity, customer service, and loyalty. Moreover, highly engaged employees outperform their disengaged counterparts by 20%-28%. Yet, only a small percentage of organizations have considered the positive impact that proactive leadership development can have on employee engagement.

Statistics vary, but Gallup’s 2012 Employee Engagement Index reports that only 30% of employees are actively engaged, while 70% are not engaged or are actively disengaged. These numbers haven’t changed significantly since 2009.

However, as the economy begins to improve what should you be doing to increase that 30% of actively engaged employees? One approach is to design your talent development strategy with increased active engagement as a key outcome.

Develop your Leaders:

Leadership development programs can be a very cost effective if you consider the high cost associated with losing talent who don’t

  • Feel appreciated

  • Feel challenged and enthusiastic about the work

  • Feel a sense of accomplishment

  • Understand and have impact on the “big picture”

A well-designed leadership development strategy has the potential to change these conditions by providing employees the opportunities to expand and demonstrate technical competence and leadership abilities that result in the enhanced bench strength organizations need for a strong succession plan.

As you assess the cost/benefit of a financial investment in developing your leaders, consider the potential for increased employee engagement as part of your organization’s return on investment.