How is your team doing? Checking in on engagement


Research shows that highly engaged employees can have a significant, positive impact on business performance. One Mercer | Sirota study found that stock prices in companies with high morale increased 16% in one year while companies with low morale increased by only 3% in that same year.

Another Mercer | Sirota study of a large multinational organization tells us more:  

Managers who score high on Manager effectiveness:

  1. Score higher than the company average on their performance 
  2. Have teams that hold more favorable views across engagement dimensions
  3. Have lower than average team turnover

In contrast, bottom scoring managers on effectiveness:

  1. Have lower than company average performance 
  2. Have teams that hold less favorable views across engagement dimensions
  3. Have higher than average team turnover

If we reflect on times when we have experienced success in our roles, delivered strong performance, and felt engaged with our team and our organization, these findings aren’t overly surprising – a great deal of how we feel and perform at work has to do with our Manager. How a manager engages and supports their team members, how they take time to communicate with and understand the needs of their team, and how responsive they are when taking action, has a direct impact on their own experience and performance, and on the engagement and performance of their team members.  Maintaining an ongoing conversation is essential. It is the manager’s role to establish an open, trusting environment and it is the colleague’s role to provide feedback, including suggesting solutions.  

Keeping the conversation going and taking a pulse check with your team is easy. Just ask “How are we doing on X, Y, Z? What do we need to do to improve?  

Personally, I use regular team meetings for check-ins to discuss how we are doing and what progress we are making in the areas we wanted to improve. We celebrate our progress and re-think our actions to close gaps, especially when the actions we thought would make a difference are not working as we expected. As a result, my team is great at providing ideas and suggestions and this has helped all of us maintain a high level of support and engagement.  

Managers, I encourage you to check in with your teams. Colleagues – provide feedback and suggestions – don’t wait to be asked. We all have a role in making our workplaces great, growing our careers, and developing ourselves and others.

Jill Zimmerman
by Jill Zimmerman

Mercer’s Global Chief Talent & Inclusion Officer