Skip to content

Unlocking Employee Engagement: Strategies to Transform Your Workplace

Unlocking Employee Engagement

Discover how to unlock employee engagement using strategies that enhance performance and overall satisfaction.

Written by Sophie Archibald, Key Account Manager at Performance Consultants.

– 8 mins read –

Engagement is the psychological and emotional commitment of an individual to their work. It is the discretionary effort they are willing to put in and how much they might go above and beyond for their business. It is therefore no surprise that engagement is a predictor for performance. Engaged employees drive business success. Yet according to Gallup’s latest survey, 77% of the world’s workers are not feeling engaged. The good news? You can do something about it. 

The Global Engagement Crisis

The Gallup World Poll is the largest ongoing annual study of employee experience in the world, and according to their latest workplace report, low engagement is one of the key challenges businesses are currently facing. 

Strikingly the report showed that only 23% of the world’s workers are engaged, 59%, ‘quiet quitters’, are not engaged, and 18%, ‘loud quitters’, are actively disengaged. Globally that’s 77% (the majority) of the world’s workers not bringing all of their potential to their roles, not feeling driven to achieve more and not being motivated to be the best they can be. What’s more, only 13% of workers are engaged in Europe and in the UK only 10% are engaged! These disengaged people work because they need to pay the bills, not because it is where they want to be or is a source of positivity, purpose, recognition or self-worth. The majority are quietly or loudly quitting. 

It is probably no surprise that stress amongst the world’s workers has been steadily increasing over the last 10 years. It reached the highest point in the study’s history in 2021 and has stayed there. Yet engagement has a buffering effect on stress, with only 30% of engaged workers experiencing a lot of stress the previous day compared to 56% of actively disengaged.  

Engagement also plays a pertinent role in attracting and retaining top talent, which is key to business success. When engaged, only 43% of employees watch for or actively seek another job, vs 61% of actively disengaged people. From a business perspective this also means 39% of actively disengaged people are not seeking other jobs and staying within their organization, which creates a big performance gap. Engagement mitigates the loss of top talent (and loss of performance by those sticking around). Those that are engaged are also more likely to be advocates for organizations, attracting further top talent.  

Gallup estimates $8.8 TRILLION (USD) of the global economy could be saved if we spent time and energy building engagement and tapping into more potential. Not to mention the number of lives that would be positively impacted. A very worthwhile time and energy investment.

Strategies for Increased Engagement

The good news is that ‘quiet quitting’ employees know what they would change about their workplace to make it better. 41% of them would change engagement or culture (including workplace experiences, recognition, care and respect), vs 28% pay and benefits, and only 16% wellbeing. 

That means that there is plenty we can do to tap into the unleashed potential of the world’s workers.  

As quoted by Claire de Carteret, Managing Director of Gallup EMEA, “Engagement is a contact sport”, and 70% of the variance in engagement is a result of the management and leadership. 

Therefore, one of the easiest (and lowest cost!) ways to build engagement is regular and meaningful conversations between managers and their team members, so that team members feel seen, heard and valued. This means managers and leaders being plugged in and connected to their team, so that they see what is going on and can recognise and acknowledge individual contributions and participation. We need to support leaders to be coaches and mentors to truly unlock the potential and engagement of their people. 

Yet managers and leaders are struggling with high rates of burnout and stress, low engagement and high turnover. So, the best thing organizations can be thinking about right now is how to empower and equip leaders and managers across the board to lead and engage in a changing work environment and with a hybrid team. Building accountability for this by valuing, recognizing and celebrating empowering leadership.

Coaching Leadership Builds Engagement

A traditional management style like “command and control” is one where leaders know best and have all the answers (or feel like they ought to) and this can disempower and stifle potential. In contrast, developing a “coaching leadership style” creates a collaboration between the leader and team members that engages and empowers all. Our Co-Founder, Sir John Whitmore, pioneered the coaching style of leadership and making this shift puts people in the driving seat of their own performance, unleashing untold potential. 

A coaching leadership style is underpinned by clear skills and ethics which include partnership and collaboration, belief in potential, trust and safety, intention, powerful questions, active listening, feedback and learning and development. 

Just imagine how the culture of a business may be positively impacted if this was how all leaders showed up.  

When we were working with McKinsey in the 1980s, the coaching style was so successful at improving performance and unlocking potential that they asked us to develop a memorable framework to underpin the coaching approach – as a result, The GROW Model was born. 

Today, leaders around the world continue to discover this powerful coaching approach in our Coaching for Performance Program.

Learn GROW Model coaching

Developing a High-Performing Interdependent Culture

There is a vast amount of untapped human potential in the workplace. How we lead and manage people in our organizations will not only change how they feel about work (their engagement) but will affect their stress levels, loyalty and how they advocate for their workplaces.

Equipping leaders with the coaching and mentoring skills to boost engagement will not only improve the culture amongst employees but will increase bottom line and ultimately the positive impact businesses can make. It will help collaboration, empowerment and innovation to flourish across organizations and teams.

Some call this a high-performance culture, some an agile culture or a coaching culture. We call it an interdependent culture and we design processes, structures and systems which are aligned to support and sustain the new culture.

The Performance Curve Culture

Get in touch with us to understand how we can help you to build an engaging interdependent culture in your organization.

Join one of our webinars to find out about a coaching leadership style

meeting your needs

How can you bring executive coaching into your organization?

Sir John and his colleagues at Performance Consultants were the first to take coaching into the workplace and coined the term “performance coaching” in the early 1980s. We continue to lead the field in performance improvement through coaching leadership training.

Select one of the options shown. Or get in touch and one of our world-class leadership development consultants will work with you to create a tailored programme that meets your specific needs.

  • Attend a Coaching Course – experience the benefits of coaching first hand. See our Global Training Calendar to find the right course for you
  • Transformational Leader Pathway – learn how to be a leader–coach with a coaching leadership style that creates a culture of high performance for you, your team and entire organization
  • Performance Coach Certification – become a coach or take your coaching skills to the next level so that you can practise transformational leadership coaching
  • Individual Coaching (1:1) – take your leadership to the next level with a tailored, fast-track professional development coaching programme
  • Team Development – unlock the next level of potential in your team with team coaching