Engaging Employees Most Important Leadership Practice in Tough Times

February 26, 2009 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - More than half (51%) of senior leaders and human resource professionals surveyed by Right Management said engaging employees to ensure organizational alignment and commitment is the most important leadership practice to achieve business goals during tough times.

Owen Sullivan, CEO of Right Management, noted in a press release that, “Leaders know that it’s only the collective talent of their workforces that will pull them through.” The most significant leadership development need during tough times is providing leaders with the tools to effectively address the transitions and adjustments that will need to be made given the downsizing and budget cuts that takes place and the adverse impact of these on employee engagement, advises Sullivan.

Other important leadership practices to achieve business goals in tough time that were cited by survey respondents, according to the press release, included:

  • Clearly defining roles and expectations – 21%,
  • Developing current skill base and capabilities within organization – 15%, and
  • Making efficient and informed personnel decisions – 13%.

“Reaching out to employees during difficult times to better understand their concerns and interests by openly and honestly conveying the impact of the downturn on them and their organizations can provide a solid foundation for not only engaging them but retaining them when things do turn around,” Sullivan said in the press release.

Right Management conducted the online poll between January and February 2009. A total of 677 senior leaders and human resource professionals from a wide range of industries and functions responded to the survey.