- The challenges facing higher education leaders have never been greater
- Engaged employees are more committed to student success, university's brand
- Talented managers attract and retain top performers
The challenges facing higher education leaders have never been greater. Today, college students encounter significant obstacles in obtaining a high-quality education -- rising costs have led to increased financial stress, and mental health challenges are at an all-time high. A recent study found that three in 10 college students have experienced depression in the past two weeks and one in four have struggled with anxiety. An engaged faculty and staff population is an important tool in helping students overcome these obstacles and maximize their higher education experience.
Engaged faculty and staff members are critical to student success -- they are emotionally and psychologically committed to their work.
These faculty and staff members practice intrusive advising. They identify the challenge a student is facing and help them find the required support services. Importantly to the mission of higher education, Gallup finds that faculty and staff who are engaged at work produce better student outcomes than their less-engaged peers.
Managers Drive Workplace Engagement
In more than 80 years of research, Gallup's single most profound, distinct and clarifying insight about the workplace is likely this one: Workplace engagement is driven by the manager. In fact, 70% of the variance in team engagement is determined solely by the manager -- this includes supervisors, department chairs and deans who are responsible for individual team members within their organization.
For more than 35 years, Gallup has studied what matters most to employees and how engagement influences organizational outcomes. This research has culminated in the Gallup Q12, a 12-item index that quantifies the extent to which employees are psychologically and emotionally committed to their work and derive value from it. Through more than 258 million interviews globally, including more than 75,000 interviews with faculty and staff members, Gallup finds that just 34% of faculty and staff within higher education are engaged at work -- lower than for most industries in which Gallup measures engagement.
When schools invest in engagement early on, engaged employees remain at their organization longer; are better advocates for their brand; and recommend their organization as a place to work to their colleagues, peers and friends. Equally vital to organizations, engaged employees are less costly to their employer -- institutions with more engaged employees spend less in healthcare costs and report lower absenteeism and turnover rates.
Although individual elements of engagement can be influenced by the institution, engagement comes back to the manager.
The individual elements that are required to be highly engaged in one's job -- role clarity, having the opportunity to do what you do best, opportunities to develop, strong coworker relationships and a common mission or purpose -- are most directly influenced (positively or negatively) by one's manager.
When schools invest in engagement early on, engaged employees remain at their organization longer and are better advocates for their brand.
Gallup has completed nine meta-analyses to date to study the relationship between team engagement and performance. In its most recent meta-analysis studying more than 82,000 teams in 230 organizations across 49 industries and 73 different countries, Gallup finds that teams vary tremendously in how engaged they are -- even teams that are within the same organization. This variance is explained by the highly influential role an individual manager plays in engaging their employees.
Attract and Retain Top Performers
Successful managers are those who help their employees better understand and appreciate their unique strengths. Great managers learn the strengths of each member of their team. They develop and position their people, and they create strengths-based partnerships and teams that allow everyone to thrive and be at their very best.
These highly talented managers attract and retain top performers. Quite simply, they are the department managers, program directors, deans and department chairs whom staff want to work for.
Successful managers are those who help their employees better understand and appreciate their unique strengths.
Gallup partners with more than 1,000 schools to help more than 700,000 students know who they are via CliftonStrengths and how they can apply their strengths to impact their engagement and wellbeing, at school and beyond. A growing number of faculty and staff members have joined these ranks -- but with just 34% engaged in their jobs, students need more.
Learn how to increase employee engagement and build a strengths-based culture on your campus:
- Get the No. 1 employee engagement survey as a first step to create an engaged workplace.
- Watch this on-demand webinar for practical steps on how to create an engaged and thriving campus.
- Learn more about Gallup's higher education solutions.