Employee drivers – leadership

Why leadership is a key driver for employee engagement

Employee engagement in your organisation is influenced by several different factors. If you’re looking to measure your employee engagement and experience levels, our research has highlighted 10 drivers you need to focus on to get both accurate and fair results when surveying your workforce.

Here, we’re going to focus on one of these key drivers: leadership.

Why is leadership important for employee engagement?

Leadership is a necessary component for successful employee engagement as senior leaders have a significant impact on the work environment, organisational culture, and employee motivation.

When leaders demonstrate effective leadership behaviours, they can encourage collaboration, build trust across the workforce, create a positive work environment where employees feel valued and appreciated, and encourage commitment among their employees.

How does leadership drive employee engagement?

1. Leaders set the tone for the organisation
Everything a leader does has a significant impact on the overall culture and values of an organisation. When leadership teams support employee engagement, model behaviours and create a culture that supports employee wellbeing, employees are more likely to be engaged and committed to their work.

2. Leaders provide direction and support
Good leaders provide clear goals and focus, inspire team members to work towards and achieve these goals, and provide support and recognition when needed.

3. Leaders who share their passion increase performance
Showing and sharing a passion for the organisation’s values is essential as a leader. Authentic leaders who bring their whole selves to the workplace and show honesty and commitment to their employees are likely to have more engaged and motivated employees, as well as increased productivity and performance.

4. Leaders create opportunities for growth and development
Leaders who invest in employee development and provide opportunities for growth and learning not only help employees to feel more engaged and committed to their work, but also increase innovation in their organisation.

5. Leaders create a sense of community and belonging
As social animals, humans have an innate need to ‘belong’. Leaders that foster a sense of community and belonging across their workforce will have happier, more engaged employees than are likely to feel more committed to their work.

6. Leaders who communicate build a stronger workforce
Your employees could be spread across multiple locations, with conflicting work schedules, but great leaders don’t only share their insights – they listen to the responses, too. Leaders who conduct regular employee listening surveys and then turn the responses into positive action create better connections with their workforce. Better still, they regularly update their employees through multiple communication channels, reaching each person regardless of their role.

What happens to employee engagement when trust in the leadership team fails?

With employees looking to the leadership team to communicate the company vision and encourage buy-in, they need to trust them. They need to believe that the company is well managed, and feel the company is headed in the right direction. If employees do not ‘trust the process’ or buy into the company vision, they’ll be less likely to perform to a high standard – as they feel their efforts are wasted. This, in turn, has a negative impact on employee retention and recruitment.

How can you track leadership perceptions and boost employee engagement?

Having leaders who enhance employee engagement and champion positive organisational cultures is great, but combining this support with regular employee listening means that you can track whether the intention is reaching the workforce and having the desired effect.


The WorkBuzz platform offers a simple, flexible, customisable surveys that allows your organisation to gain confidential insights from your employees on their perceptions of the leadership team. We have a whole bank of questions tailored to leadership, as well as many other key drivers of employee engagement.

If you’re looking to start implementing employee engagement surveys, or are reviewing your existing survey solution, get in touch and see how the WorkBuzz platform can help. Book a demo today or drop us a message: hello@workbuzz.com

Related content:

[eBook] Steering your leadership teams: A how to guide for HR

[WEBINAR] Leadership and its impact on engagement – What is the data telling us?

[ARTICLE] Making workplace culture a priority for leadership teams

[ARTICLE] How HR can influence its leadership teams

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WorkBuzz has been incredibly helpful throughout the transformation of our employee listening strategy.

Catriona Mackay Miller, HR Business PartnerArbuthnot Latham

We have been very pleased with WorkBuzz. The past 12 months have been massively challenging and the insights we have gained have helped to inform key business and people decisions.

David Wilkinson, Human Resources DirectorPremier Foods
Premier Foods

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