In business, whether we’re entry-level employees or senior executives, we all have a manager we report to. Employee engagement studies have consistently shown that our relationship with our manager is critical to our engagement in the workplace and our feelings about our employer.
New research provides insight on how emotions – both positive and negative – alter employee engagement levels. A recent study by Dale Carnegie shows that while previous efforts to increase employee engagement were driven by practical rewards such as pay increases, bonuses or flexible working hours, “it is the feeling-based personal relationships that have the greatest influence, causing engaged employees to work effectively, stay with their company and act as ambassadors for their organization.”
In a nationwide study of 1,500 employees, Dale Carnegie discovered that there were five emotions that drove engagement and 12 that provoked disengagement. According to the study, employees who felt at least one of these five emotions were 68% more likely to be engaged at work compared to those who felt none. Additional findings revealed negative emotions such as irritation, disinterest and discomfort contributed to employee disengagement and were contagious to the organization and its staff.
The study also revealed that “it is the immediate supervisor who is the chief emotional driver in the workplace; reactions to him or her explain 84% of how employees feel about their organization.” Managers who convey cheerful and encouraging sentiment create a stronger sense of belonging in the workplace, which encourages the five positive emotions that induce employee engagement.
Consider some additional ways managers can build positive sentiment with employees:
Awareness of the important role of a positive employee-manager relationship is a great start to improved engagement. By taking these steps to implement techniques and processes to create strong employee-manager partnerships, companies can harness a key driver of engagement.