It is important for members of your software team to be engaged because:
- engagement improves your team’s effectiveness, and;
- working to engage employees inspires the trust that is required to lead.
In 2016, in an exploration of the prediction of team success, Gallup performed a pertinent meta analysis of teams for which there was both team engagement data and team performance data.
Engaged teams saw huge benefits over disengaged ones. Comparing the top quartile to the bottom quartile for engagement, Gallup observed:
- A 21% increase in profitability.
- A 20% increase in sales.
- A 60% reduction in turnover.
- A 40% reduction in defects.
Whatever else you might say about employee engagement, it is hard to argue against 21% more profit.
By itself, that makes your team’s degree of engagement worth investing in.
Note that engagement is an aspect of leadership that is well studied. Gallup studied 1.8 million employees since 1997 to deduce the precise relationship between engagement and results.
Trust and Team Leadership
To lead is to socially influence. Developing social influence requires being trusted. Trust is engendered by authenticity, well explained logical thinking, and empathy. That authentic empathy from the leader for the other will motivate the leader to advocate for engaged fellow workers.
Disengaged employees are often unhappy or unsatisfied. Those emotions often spill over into their personal lives. Once there, the feelings cross over into other family members. Entire families can be made unhappy by disengaged workers. Empathetic leaders care about fellow workers and endeavour to avoid this unnecessary suffering.
Addressing employee engagement shows empathy, which builds the trust that is required to lead.
That is why leaders should care about employee engagement.
- Gallup’s “Moneyball for Business: Employee Engagement Meta-Analysis”
- Gallup Q12 Meta-Analysis Report
- Essential Techniques for Leading Software Teams in the Work-From-Home Era