Employee engagement is critically important to an organization's overall productivity, but achieving high levels of engagement is often a challenge. Engagement is a nebulous concept, and cannot be easily attained through traditional methods. Usually, when engagement is the issue, an employee engagement survey is commissioned. When the results come back, the information is reviewed by senior leadership, who brainstorm ways to improve engagement levels. While this model can work, it often misses the mark—sometimes wildly. The problem with this top-down approach is that more than 70 percent of the variance in engagement depends on employees' relationships with their managers, meaning that the boss is generally the biggest factor in determining engagement levels. Most engagement initiatives will fail if the boss isn't considered in the equation, particularly if that boss refuses to change personal behaviors. Instead, engagement initiatives should be launched from the bottom up. Since the frontline workers are the ones management wants to engage, it's important that the ideas for change come from them.
Bottom-Up Employee Engagement