Recent research suggests that a particular leadership style, labeled “engaging leadership,” can boost employees’ engagement and enhance team effectiveness within the workplace.

Those were the findings published recently by Greta Mazzetti of the University of Bologna, Italy, and Wilmar Schaufeli of Utrecht University in the Netherlands in an academic journal called PLUS ONE.

To provide new insights, Mazzetti and Schaufeli explored the impact of an engaged leadership style on work engagement and team effectiveness of 1,048 employees across 90 teams within a Dutch workplace. Participants each took two surveys, one year apart, which included questions about their supervisors’ level of engaging leadership, their own work engagement, and other personal and team characteristics.

Statistical analysis of the responses suggests that supervisors perceived as engaged leaders in the initial survey did indeed enhance employee engagement as captured in the second survey. This impact appeared to occur via a boost in employees’ personal psychological resources of optimism, resiliency, self-efficacy, and flexibility — these results are in line with evidence from previous studies.

Similarly, engaged leaders appeared to enhance team effectiveness by boosting team resources, which consisted of performance feedback, trust in management, communication, and participation in decision-making. Team resources also appeared to affect individual employee engagement.

These findings support the use of engaging leadership to boost employee engagement and team effectiveness in the workplace.

“A leader who inspires, strengthens and connects team members fosters a shared perception of available resources (in terms of performance feedback, trust in management, communication, and participation in decision-making), and a greater psychological capital (i.e., self-efficacy, optimism, resilience, and flexibility),” noted the authors.

In my experience, an engaging leadership style in a key ingredient for an entrepreneur to transition his or her business from a one-person operation to a thriving small business.

I think the lesson in this for entrepreneurs is to be very aware of your attitude and emotions when you are around your employees.

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