Article: The power of engaging leaders

Culture

The power of engaging leaders

What makes an engaging leader? A new study sheds light on this leadership style.
The power of engaging leaders

An "engaging leadership" style may enhance team effectiveness and employee engagement in the workplace, a new study suggests.

Employees who engage at work typically have a positive state of mind and show determination, vigour, dedication, and absorption in their work. Past studies have shown that the more engaged employees are, the more they tend to have greater well-being and better job performance.

Previous studies have also suggested that a particular type of leadership known as "engaging leadership" may boost employees' engagement. Engaging leadership involves leaders who fulfil employees' need for autonomy, care and competence. 

Read more: What does it take for employers to attract and retain talent today?

However, most workplace leadership style studies have focused on a single point of time without evaluating the potential effects of engaging leadership over time.

A new study by Wilmar Schaufeli of Utrecht University in the Netherlands and Greta Mazzetti of the University of Bologna, Italy, is presented in the journal PLOS ONE. In this study, Mazzetti and Schaufeli examined the effects of engaging leadership on team effectiveness and work engagement of 1,048 employees across 90 teams within a Dutch company.

Respondents of the study each took two surveys that were one year apart. These surveys included questions about their supervisors' level of engaging leadership, work engagement, and other team and personal characteristics.

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Analysis of the findings suggests that supervisors with engaging leadership styles in the initial survey did enhance the engagement of employees as found in the second survey. This effect occurred through a boost in employees' psychological resources of self-efficacy, resiliency, optimism, and flexibility. These results align with previous studies.

Engaged leaders also enhanced team effectiveness by boosting resources, which included trust in management, performance feedback, participation in decision making, and communication. Team resources reportedly affected individual employee engagement.

The findings support engaging leadership in the workplace to boost employee engagement and team effectiveness. Further research could focus on engaging leadership versus other leadership styles in the workplace over a certain period.

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Topics: Culture, Employee Engagement

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