Leadership Study Shows Excessively High Energy Levels Are Counter-Productive
SALINE (WWJ) – The employee engagement consultant eePulse Inc. Monday reported its latest Leadership Pulse study, http://www.leadershippulse.com. The study aims to measure the energy level of company employees.
The research shows that optimal employee energy increases financial performance while too much energy can significantly decrease productivity. Started in 2003, with participation from over 9,200 different individuals, the Leadership Pulse is conducted in partnership with Mercer and the Center for Effective Organizations at the University of Southern California.
“The Leadership Pulse results indicate that employee energy levels tie directly to productivity, growth and financial performance, and energy is on the rise,” said eePulse founder, president and CEO Theresa M. Welbourne. “It’s important to know, however, that working above or below one’s optimal energy level is counter-productive, leading to more mistakes, bigger problems and burnout.”
The results show that 63 percent of leaders say they are below their ideal energy level and only 16 percent said they are at their best energy level.
“Although energy averages are increasing, we still have more work to do in order to assure leaders are at optimal levels, leading to highest performance for 2014,” states Welbourne.
Other highlights of the study:
• Employee energy levels have increased. Using a scale of 0-10, the average energy rating was 7.01. This is the highest average energy measured in this study since 2003 with energy levels showing a steady increase from 6.18 in September 2010 to September 2013.
• Firms with higher energy had higher financial performance. Firms with high financial performance rated energy levels at 7.12 = 0.54 to 0.57 below their best energy level.
Firms with average financial performance rated energy levels at 6.80 = .83 below their best energy level. Firms with poor financial performance rated energy at 6.24 = 1.32 to 1.58 points below their best energy levels.
• Senior managers are the most disengaged group, with 82 percent of CEOs or presidents saying they are “fully engaged” with their tasks but only 50 percent of other C-level personnel, 75 percent of senior or executive vice presidents, 59 percent of vice presidents, 47 percent of directors, 41 percent of senior managers and 58 percent of line level managers or supervisors.
The Valour Pulse portion of the study consists of measuring a company’s culture for growth, change and innovation where “VAL” equals valuing people, “O” stands for ownership, and “R” relates to rewards — and U includes the sense of urgency. Research from eePulse indicates that people who feel a high sense of urgency while being valued, recognized and rewarded for their contributions are more productive.
In the study, senior managers show the lowest level of engagement. Welbourne said this as an aftermath of the poor economic conditions firms have been challenged with where senior managers have been doing a lot of work that has not necessarily been recognized or rewarded.
“We find that organizations that know how to balance urgency with traditional engagement are the ones that win in the long run,” Welbourne said. “They have sustained growth and a culture that supports innovation. It’s more challenging to sustain a high sense of urgency than it is to increase traditional, employee engagement scores, and working on urgency is where we spent a lot of time and research over the years. Traditional HR interventions can increase engagement, but they often lower sense of urgency. Thus, innovative HR and leadership tools are needed to positively affect both.”
More at http://www.eepulse.com.