AmericasLeaders - engaging your team

75% of people who voluntarily leave their jobs, quit their bosses, not their jobs


of american workers
are 'not engaged'

Gallup’s ongoing research on U.S. workforce engagement shows that only 30% of employees are engaged, 52% are disengaged, and 18% actively disengaged. These findings indicate that 70% of american workers are ‘not engaged’ or ‘actively disengaged’ making them emotionally disconnected from their workplaces and less likely to be productive. Gallup estimates that these actively disengaged employees cost the U.S. between $450 billion to $550 billion each year in lost productivity. They are “more likely to steal from their companies, negatively influence their coworkers, miss workdays, and drive customers away.”

Gallup’s research notes that work units in the top 25% of their engagement database have considerably higher productivity and profitability ratings, combined with less turnover and absenteeism. Creating a culture of engagement in which people have the skills, confidence, and support to actively engage is key to organizational vitality, innovation, collaboration, and growth.


Collaboration is more than just communication; it is more than teamwork. Collaboration is two or more people working together, feeding off each other, and making decisions jointly rather than separately.

Collaboration usually doesn’t have a leader, but it often involves competing goals as well as shared goals. To be successful, collaborators must be truly engaged in their job, and with each other. There needs to be respect for the contributions others make, and it requires a challenge mindset – freedom to challenge each other, themselves, and the status quo. Collaboration doesn’t just happen – it is the result of an intentional process, working off a foundation of skills and confidence to drive better decisions faster.


Innovation – the ability to develop fresh, value-creating ideas with partners, customers, and suppliers – has become the driver for growth, performance, and valuation in global organizations of all sizes.
According to McKinsey and Company, more than 70% of executives in a recent survey said that innovation will be one of three top drivers of growth in their companies over the next five years, and key to keeping pace with the tremendous change taking place in today’s global environment. But innovation isn’t just a flash of brilliance or a trip to Creativity Island; it is a process built on trust, in a culture in which ideas are valued, where it is safe to express new ideas, and individuals are actually encouraged to challenge the status quo. Innovation requires committed leadership, but it also requires people to have the skills and confidence to truly engage, speak honestly, openly and respectfully, question deeply, and frame their activities around desired outcomes. Innovation is a skill set supported by leadership and culture, which is essential to compete today and in the future.


Why do most people quit their jobs? According to Gallup Corporation, 75% of people who voluntarily leave their jobs, quit their bosses, not their jobs. Of those who do leave their jobs, only 12% leave for more money elsewhere. In the same study, researchers concluded that a company with engaged employees produces twice the revenue of a similar organization with disengaged employees, and earns 2.5% more per employee. These statistics have huge impact on the bottom line.

According to Jack Welch, management consultant and former GE CEO, “any company trying to compete must find a way to engage the mind of every employee.” Today, leadership is really about engaging each and every employee, helping them grow and understand their contribution to company goals and objectives, and then supporting them in developing the skills and confidence necessary for the collaboration and teamwork crucial for innovation and growth. The job of leaders is to set the strategy, communicate it clearly, foster a culture of innovation and creativity, and reward those who work together effectively.


Simply put, courage is having the skills and confidence to do what makes a person effective. Not what has been done in the past; not what is familiar and safe; not what is comfortable but ineffective. According to Winston Churchill, courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; it is also what it takes to sit down and listen. Courage is knowing what to do, how to do it, and that you can do it well, and then applying these skills in pressure-filled, tension-laden situations. It is not about lack of fear or apprehensions.

Some of the most courageous acts in a business come about in the face of adversity and challenge. Courage is key in leading individuals and teams to do the right thing, instead of opting for the easy and safe decision.

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