Employee engagement is always on the radar of organizations. Research indicates that if employees are engaged with the company their job satisfaction levels increase. Employees that are engaged and satisfied are very invested in the success of the business and have a high level of commitment and loyalty. It is critical for leaders to understand and recognize how their own behaviors and egos are impacting employee engagement.
The seven ways leadership ego kills employee engagement:
- Company culture and values don’t apply to me – Leaders who are not aligned with the company culture and goals lose respect and employees lose motivation.
- Taking credit for others’ work – I view this one as an inconvenient truth. Most often when leaders take the credit for others’ work it is because they don’t know the what, why or how which is what makes it inconvenient. Over time this will erode the quality or quantity of work that is produced for the leader as well as what information gets shared.
- Incapable of receiving criticism – Don’t call their baby ugly. The leader who is incapable of receiving criticism thinks their way is the only way. They know what they what they want and when and how they want it regardless of how it fits into the current design of the organization. Because they don’t accept criticism they themselves stop growing and their development becomes stifled and this has a cascade effect.
- Does not allow for any mistakes – This is where the leader sets the bar at perfection and anything less is failure and perfection cannot be achieved. These leaders do not see the value in learning from trying. When mistakes aren’t celebrated people will stop innovating.
- Does not distribute the workload – They take it all on themselves because they view this as job security. They rarely delegate or do succession planning. Often this is due to a lack of trust which will be obvious to the rest of the staff.
- Rarely lets anyone in to be part of a decision-making process – The decision is theirs and theirs alone. These leaders view their thought process as the best one without soliciting feedback from others. This often causes undue hardship on their team because it often makes their job harder rather than easier.
- Disrespect and bullying and this is the most dangerous. This is usually done by using intimidation, humiliation, and constant nonconstructive criticism to demean others’ and their work. When a leader uses disrespect, and bullying to get their way and to motivate it is usually driven by their own insecurities. It is a way to keep others down with the intent that it raises the leader up. The reason this is so much more dangerous than the other ways leadership ego kills employee engagement is because it will multiply. Employees will see that it is OK to behave that way. Good people will leave, progress will be hindered and ultimately the job market will become aware of that culture making recruiting solid contributors impossible.
Ego is the uncontrollable inflated sense of self, sense of superiority, and sense of urgency. If you are goaled with improving employee engagement start by checking the ego of the leadership within your organization and this needs to include the leaders without titles.