Managers Hold Keys to Engagement: Onsite Coverage
HOLLYWOOD, Calif. – Managers are responsible for creating high employee engagement levels – something that leads to revenue growth and a reduction in theft and turnover at credit unions and other organizations.
That’s the key argument Kerry Liberman, president of Bainbridge Island, Wash.-based credit union consultant firm People Perspectives LLC, presented at the CUNA HR and Training & Development (HR/TD) Council Conference Thursday. Building engagement should be a priority for credit union managers because it’s something they can take control of, unlike some other factors that affect the bottom line, she said.
“You can’t control the economy and you can’t control how your SEGs are doing, but you can control your employee engagement,” she said. “And nothing impacts engagement more than the direct supervisor’s behaviors.”
How can managers drive engagement at their credit unions? Communicate in a timely manner, share important information about the credit union with employees, hold regular meetings (both formal and informal), and solicit employee input and act on it, Liberman said.
She added credit union leaders should have succession plans in place for all of the cooperative’s managers, not just its executives; communicate clear expectations for appropriate management behaviors; and provide managers with ample learning opportunities and coaching.
In addition, negative feedback can in fact lead to positive results in the workplace – employees who receive negative feedback from their bosses are more likely to be engaged than employees who are ignored, she said, citing a Gallup survey.
The highest employee engagement levels can be found at credit unions with less than $500 million in assets, credit unions with medium-sized employee groups, and credit unions in Wyoming, Michigan, Colorado, Kansas, Ohio and Indiana, based on research conducted by People Perspectives, Liberman said. Employees are most engaged, the firm also found, when they have confidence and belief in their leadership, take pride in working with the organization, and have a good relationship with their manager.
When employees are highly engaged, organizations are more likely to succeed as a whole. She said according to Gallup, 29% of U.S. employees identify as engaged, 53% identify as non-engaged, and 18% view themselves as actively disengaged; in turn, companies with engaged employees have less theft, turnover and absenteeism. And a HayGroup study revealed revenue growth is 4.5 times greater at companies with the highest engagement levels than at companies with the lowest engagement levels, she said.
The CUNA HR/TD Council Conference runs from April 22 to 25 at the Loews Hollywood Hotel in Hollywood, Calif.