A lot has been written about engagement—what it is, how to improve it, and the employee's role in that engagement. But this issue of T+D approaches engagement from a completely different angle—from the manager's view of it and his role in increasing engagement among his team. This is an angle that I'm sure many training and development professionals agree may be the most important one. David Zinger, author of the cover story, notes that managers face serious problems and challenges, and need a fully engaged workforce to tackle the complex issues in the workplace. His answer for managers: gamification.
"Gaming techniques can help boost employee engagement and productivity," he writes. As opposed to elaborate games requiring complex programming and game design, managers should "use game thinking and game mechanics to improve employee engagement."
For managers, gaming techniques do not need to be complicated or intricate. It is as easy as managers creating a contest to boost productivity or awarding badges or prizes when employees hit goals.
But before managers can create a solution to the engagement problem, they must look at the big picture and explore the data behind why employees are disengaged, according to Todd Dewett, author of the feature article "The Engagement Fix." Finding the root cause of the engagement issue will help managers find the most effective strategy to fix the problem.
According to Dewett, owning the problem and including employees in the solution will go a long way toward engaging employees.
According to recent Gallup research, engagement levels may be as low as 30 percent worldwide. That is leading to poor productivity and massive employee turnover. Training and development professionals need to put greater emphasis on helping managers raise employee engagement levels within their organizations. Managers need your help in preparing employees to take on the challenges of today's workforce. Don't let them down.