Earlier this week, a client asked me how leaders can increase employee engagement.  Thinking it was a good question–for business leaders and coaches alike–I dug into the research to find an answer.  I discovered a recently published study that revealed very useful and easily applicable leadership practices.  A team of South African researchers interviewed 20 employees from various functions and levels within a multinational consumer goods organization. Data analysis revealed a strong relationship between leadership and employee engagement and that increased employee engagement resulted in improved performance of employees and subsequently the organization. The study also revealed that when employees were not empowered with a voice in activities in which they were directly involved, it caused them to be demotivated. Based on their findings, the researcher provided a list of activities effective leaders used to increase the engagement of their team members:

  1. Hold regular discussions and feedback with team members and do not make it a once- or twice-a-year exercise.
  2. To improve engagement improve the leader’s communication.
  3. Give employees a voice in matters that directly affect them.
  4. The development of team members must be a key leader focus.
  5. Reward, demonstrate appreciation and recognize team members for their contribution to the organization’s success.
  6. Be more approachable, supportive, and willing to create an environment of trust and respect with your team members.


Govender, M., & Bussin, M. H. R. (2020). Performance management and employee engagement: A South African perspective. South African Journal of Human Resource Management18(1), 1–19.