Gallup recently reported a decline in employee engagement across the U.S., and given current times this might not be a big surprise.
However, they also reported that, during times of turmoil, managers are responsible for implementing leadership decisions while motivating their team to get work done, and that a high percentage of these managers are in need of help!
“Manager engagement is on the decline, and burnout is on the rise,” the article said. “Clarity of expectations and opportunities to develop are specifically vulnerable. Like your employees, your front-line managers and supervisors need to feel that they are continually developing in their work and overall life.”
This need has clearly been recognized in the marketplace as, according to data shared by Northeastern University, 58% of U.S. companies say their number one strategic priority is closing their current leadership skill gaps. The study also indicated that many more plan to increase their total spending on leadership development initiatives in the next few years— “now treating professional development as an important component of their business strategy.”
Leadership provides the energy for change and continuous improvement, as well as the commitment to sustain it. Today’s leaders must continually work to hone and refine a range of skills if they are to lead people to higher levels of performance and engagement.
These skills include:
- Communication and active listening
- Method of sharing optimism, energy and enthusiasm
- Risk assessment
Leaders Without Teams?
Finally, it’s important to note that you don’t need to be in a C-level role to be considered a leader. Strong leaders exist—and are highly valued—at every level of business. These “leaders without teams” often inspire, engage, and influence their colleagues and stakeholders; and they must also be given skill development opportunities, as many will likely become the “official” leaders of tomorrow.