Research

The Data-Driven Prescription for Leader Engagement

leader engagement

Health care leader engagement is declining nationally—and much more quickly than frontline engagement.

But if organizations are going to succeed in today's market, they need leaders who are energized and excited by their work.

This study offers strategies to solve the top five challenges of manager and director engagement.

Download the study






The leader engagement decline

Leader engagement often looks strong when compared to frontline staff engagement, but a close look at year-over-year trends tells a different story.

Leader engagement is in fact declining much more rapidly than frontline engagement. Between 2012 and 2014, leader engagement dropped four percentage points—10 times more than frontline engagement.

Change in engagement level, 2012-2014

change in engagement level

How to improve—even in a challenging market

One challenge when it comes to reversing the decline is that market forces can have a significant effect on leader engagement—and those market forces are beyond the control of any engagement strategy.

Five key market forces are in the mix: constant connectivity and 24/7 communication, acute margin pressure, the increasing pace of change, uncertainty about the future, and the rise in mergers and acquisitions. And none of these challenges are likely to abate anytime soon.

The good news: It is possible to engage leaders despite these market challenges. The analysis we used to inform the framework included in this study comes from more than 21,000 responses in the Advisory Board Survey Solutions national employee engagement database, supplemented by more than 100 interviews with health care leaders and engagement experts.

Best practices for your leader engagement strategy

email tips

Featured resource: Reminder Card with Email Tips
Ever feel overwhelmed by email? You're definitely not alone. This card highlights simple email best practices—like avoiding "reply all" and bolding key words/phrases—and is perfect to share with your colleagues.

Bonus: you can customize it for your organization. Download the card now.


Promote executive ownership of engagement

Tell leaders first—and help them tell staff

Recognize leaders individually and through their teams

Set guardrails around work-life balance

Decouple development from promotion

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