Recognize This! – “Control” over your work reduces stress.
Towers Watson’s latest Global Workforce Study expanded on the firm’s traditional employee engagement research, adding “enablement” and “energy” as two additional factors critical to sustaining engagement over time. And this is important as sustained engagement returns operating margins three times higher than in disengaged organizations (which is also nearly two times higher than merely engaged organizations).
Enablement as a key to sustained engagement largely hinges on employees having the tools they need to do their jobs. At the middle management level, I would argue one of those necessary “tools” is the ability to act on decisions. In other words, middle managers need control over their own decisions, divisions and departments.
Note that the research does not show middle managers need outings and activities to reduce their stress. They need control over their work and their teams.
Though the research does not report on this effect among employees who do not manage others, I would expect the results would be the same. Employees who feel they have control over their work (meaning they do not feel micro-managed but rather empowered to get the work done) are more enabled and therefore more sustainably engaged over time.
How well does your organization give direct control managers who, in turn, empower their employees? Do you consider this to be a key component of enablement and engagement?