Employee engagement is key in employee commitment and productivity. An "engaged employee" is interested not just in doing what's on the job description; he or she is also willing to contribute his or her skill set for the betterment of your unit, your department, and even your entire company.

Experts from MSW Research and Dale Carnegie Training recently presented "What Drives Employee Engagement and Why It Matters," a study on what makes your colleagues become more than just daily grinders, Forbes.com reports. Surveying 1,500 employees in the US, the study concluded there are three main drivers that create engagement: "relationship with immediate supervisor," "belief in senior leadership," and "pride in working for the company."

The strength and status of a worker's direct relationship to his or her supervisor or manager can be the catalyst of engagement or disengagement. As the study notes, "The attitude and actions of the immediate supervisor can enhance employee engagement or can create an atmosphere where an employee becomes disengaged. In addition, employees said that believing in the ability of senior leadership to take their input, lead the company in the right direction, and openly communicate the state of the organization is key in driving engagement."

Although these findings aren't surprising, they are a good reminders for people in managerial positions to always keep their team members empowered. So how do you empower your employees? An article on Entrepreneur.com by Richard Branson, the genius behind the Virgin Group consisting of over 400 companies, explains that keeping "the vibe relaxed" and creating an "atmosphere or team spirit and mutual appreciate" helps a lot.

(Screencap from The Good Wife courtesy of CBS)

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