The Human Resource: Engagement starts with leadership

If you have ever solicited an employee engagement survey and became surprised at the results you are not effectively demonstrating or holding accountable the right individuals in your leadership and management to achieve the desired results. Engagement begins with leadership and ends with the supervisor-employee relationship in which the supervisor is promulgating the culture and information necessary to achieve success.

Generally, the results of a survey reveal similar concerns: pay and compensation, training, growth opportunity, trust, communication, and benefits. This is no secret, and if you are not aware of the view on these topics from your employees you may not be engaging them adequately, frequently enough, and using the appropriate medium.

Leverage your performance management programs and activities between supervisor and employee to build a more effective relationship with them. Ensure you are cascading important messaging from leadership to the line staff and taking information back up that path of communication. Do not assume the workforce understands why you are doing things the way you are, and that they get the long-term strategy and picture just because you post it on a wall or send it out in an email.

Use one-on-one time to not only provide performance feedback, but to also solicit concerns, ideas, and recommendations from the employees to help achieve business goals. The more involved an employee is in controlling their growth and development in the business in addition to how the work is performed, the more committed they are in their execution of the work.

Spend the time and resources necessary to educate, train, and inform your leadership team on how to effectively engage the workforce. Ensure new supervisors are provided mentors and the support needed to be effective people leaders, which will lead to improved communication and enhanced engagement.

This strategy and behavior must be demonstrated and modeled by leadership with your management team so that everyone observes how it is done effectively. Empower your greatest asset, your people, and you will achieve a type of success you never imagined possible.

** The opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the ownership or management of Chadds Ford Live. We welcome opposing viewpoints. Readers may comment in the comments section or they may submit a Letter to the Editor to


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About Warren Cook

Warren S. Cook is a co-founder of SymbianceHR and leads all client-consulting engagements. He is a human capital strategy management subject matter expert with more than 20 years of experience as a strategic business partner, project manager, and people leader across private and public sectors organizations. Warren is responsible for all client-consulting engagements from initial needs assessment and compliance review through delivery of customized complex human capital strategy solutions that meet the client's business goals. He has a proven track record of providing executive coaching and guidance to business leaders and human resource professionals at all levels including the C-Suite of Fortune 100 companies. Warren combines his human capital, project management, and business management experience with a philosophy of solving business challenges through the strategic implementation of policies, processes, and procedures to deliver sustainable solutions that demonstrate ROI, mitigate and manage risk, and empower organizational success. Warren is the author of “Applicant Interview Preparation – Practical Coaching for Today” and holds a bachelor of science degree in human resource management, a master’s of business administration in project management, and a master’s of science degree in industrial and organizational psychology. He is also a SHRM Certified Professional.



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