OpX Insights

Leadership Engagement

written By Mike Leigh

Increasing employee engagement is all the rage these days.  Ever since a 2013 study by Gallup that revealed only 30% of the workforce is “actively engaged”, organizations have been working to change their culture to improve engagement (see my FRONT article in July, 2015 issue on how to do this.)  But what about leadership engagement?  How involved is your leadership team in developing your future leaders?

The “silver tsunami” is upon us.  During a recent training course, I asked each of the 20 managers in the room how long they had been with the company.  The shortest was 25 years!  Uh-oh!  As baby boomer leaders leave the workforce, the void must be filled with new talent.

Companies with engaged leaders are proactively involved with developing their future leaders.  In these organizations, coaching and mentoring are regarded as important and imperative.  Unfortunately, most companies are not putting a high priority on these activities.

Consider the following statements to help you determine if your leadership team is engaged.  Taken from a leadership diagnostic survey by The Bridgespan Group, the more of these statements that are true, the more engaged your leaders are.

  • The CEO is actively engaged in building a strong pipeline of future leaders.
  • Current leaders are actively engaged in building a strong pipeline of future leaders.
  • Current leaders are equipped to develop future leaders.
  • Current leaders are held accountable for building a strong pipeline of future leaders.
  • Current leaders are recognized for their efforts to develop future leaders.
  • Organizational culture supports and values leadership development.
  • Sufficient resources (e.g., funding, time) are invested in leadership development.

Fortunately, young leaders today want that development.  Studies have shown that the Millennial generation is eager for coaching and mentoring.  By putting a high priority on leadership engagement, not only will your organization be ready for the years ahead, but your development efforts will also improve job satisfaction, retention, and the performance of your young talent.  Leaders…engage!