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Too many managers want their employees to be self-sufficient with minimal attention to keep them going. No wonder so many employees are disengaged.

Engaged employees feel a strong sense of ownership, some for their jobs, but fewer for their department or the business as a whole. Employees are disengaged because managers hog the lion's share of ownership. They delegate execution and routine tasks, keeping more interesting work for themselves.

Employee engagement surveys typically ask employees how engaged they feel in their organization or job, not how well their manager engages them. But, if managers are critical to employee engagement, they need to know how to be engaging.

Much of Gallup's employee engagement advice repackages decades old motivation techniques that may improve business performance somewhat but without fully engaging employees.

Executives can put business needs first on two levels: (1) by working hard (as individuals) to achieve results and (2) at a deeper level by acting as a catalyst or facilitator to get the best out of others and to build a stronger organization for long term success.

Are you your own worst enemy? If you excel at devising great solutions and enjoy being a hero, you might fail to foster dialogue, collaboration and joint ownership of decisions.

Some organizations go to great lengths to engage employees, including creating a great place to work and offering a wider range of employee benefits. But there are some simple techniques to help managers be more engaging:

The evidence is clear: engaged employees are more productive than their disengaged peers. A Towers Perrin survey1 found that companies with high employee engagement had up to 19% higher operating margin, net profit margin, revenue growth and up to 25% greater earnings per share than companies with low employee engagement.

What does it mean to be an executive and how does it differ from being a manager or a leader? By defining executive as a role, we can view leadership and management as occasional activities.

Regardless of the diagnostic method used – interview, psychometrics or full Assessment Centre, certain personal strengths and developmental themes emerge more frequently than others.