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.