IF ONLY 13% of the world’s workers are engaged, the probability is fairly high that many CEOs are not taking charge of their culture. While surveys and leadership development are valuable pieces of employee engagement, personal transformation is even more critical. Most employees are overwhelmed with the pace of change and until we teach them how to change themselves in meaningful ways, efforts to improve engagement will continue to falter.
It takes a particular type of CEO to lead a fully engaged culture. In my upcoming book, The Great Disengagement – How we lost our enthusiasm for work and how we will win it back, I discuss the leadership behavior the CEOs of highly engaged cultures have in common. They:
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Take charge of the culture
Express continuous praise towards workers
Develop strong personal brands, which breed consistent behavior and messages
Constantly seek ways to keep workers current and relevant
Treat employees as their greatest asset versus a potential liability
Report engagement as a profit source rather than an expense
Effectively educate and inspired shareholders to support effective
Tend to dismiss short-term financial performance for long-term
value and brand strength
Tell themselves and others the truth, especially in subjects involving
Keep themselves directly connected to the front line[/message]
I work with quite a few chief human resource officers. We often discuss the fact that when we find a CEO who practices these leadership behaviors, they are going to have a great professional experience. All too often, CEOs tell human resources to fix it and if that is the case, they will be eventually held accountable for a job that is more difficult than pushing an egg up a hill with a nose.