Woman Focused on Work in Office

Leadership Coaching Philosophy: The Employee Engagement Effect

What impact does employee engagement have on organizational performance?  The contents of this paper will highlight Gallup’s State of The American Workplace Report, analyze the impact of engagement on performance, and evaluate what leaders can do to make improvements.  I hypothesize that employee engagement is the single biggest driver in organizational and individual performance.  Additional information will address how leadership can adopt a coaching style management philosophy to take employees from sheer compliance to unwavering commitment.

It is my position that employee engagement is largely influenced not so much by the work that one does but rather by the leadership he/she works under.  The purpose of this paper is to point out a direct correlation between individual/organizational performance and coaching style management.  Using Gallop’s State of the American Workplace report I will build the case that organizational leadership/management is both the problem and the solution.

Gallup’s State of the American Workplace Report

Gallup’s 2013 report surveyed Americans holding full-time jobs and found that 70% of us are not engaged at work.  Incredibly, over the past decade of polling, the numbers have largely gone unchanged.  The research also shows that bad managers are creating active disengagement costing the U.S. an estimated $450 billion to $550 billion annually. (Jim Clifton 2013)

Defining employee engagement

Employee engagement is commonly defined as an investment of physical, cognitive, and emotional energy into their work roles or tasks.  Researchers have established that employee engagement has a direct correlation to organizational commitment. Therefore, engagement is a leading factor to increased employee commitment and job performance.

Importance of Leadership

It has been suggested that leadership is one of the most important factors that influences employee engagement.  Bosses, management, leadership; whatever employees label them – they are the biggest obstruction or builder of engagement.  Essentially, the personnel you place in management might be the single biggest decision you make regarding organizational performance.

Supporting and Coaching Employees

A strategy that organizations can implement to increase employee engagement is supporting a coaching management philosophy.  This is a strategy by which managers spend a portion of their time meeting each team member for one-to-one coaching conversations.  The session is a time for the manager to take off their “chief-problem-solver” hat and asking probing questions.  The more the manger listens the more fine-tuned his/her questions become; and the more engaged the employee becomes.  The end result, employees turn from mere compliance to sheer commitment and invest more into driving their own performance.