Engaged employees--a key to the profitable and innovative firms of the future.

Author:Lufkin, Rachel

When starting a new job, anticipation abounds. Regard/ less of the many interviews conducted, a new hire doesn't know exactly what to expect. They may be surprised by the firm's culture, those they report to, their colleagues or the lawyers they work with.

The way leadership engages these employees can spawn creativity, amplify project or firm-wide innovation, and ultimately result in greater profitability for the firm.

But more often than we'd care to admit, new-to-the-firm, bright-eyed marketers may start a new position only to fall short of expectations and quickly settle into a middling role within the department and firm. Turns out, they aren't alone.

According to the Gallup State of the American Workplace Study released earlier this year, "Only one-third of U.S. employees are engaged in their work and the workplace." That leaves more than half of all workers not-engaged in their work and 16 percent of people actively disengaged--or resentful and seeking to undermine accomplishments at their places of work.

Is Engagement That Important?

Per Gallup, "Simply put, engaged employees produce better business outcomes than other employees--across industry, company size and nationality, and in good economic times and bad."

Engaged employees are more likely to show up at work. They work more hours. They are less likely to turnover. They help organizations improve customer relationships, grow organically and outperform competitors.

And, engagement can impact the bottom line. Gallup's study states, "The behaviors of highly engaged business units result in 21 percent greater profitability."

With technological innovations and an increasingly competitive legal landscape, what firm couldn't benefit from the boost an engaged marketing team could provide?

In short, the question isn't why do we need engaged legal marketers, but is instead, how do we engage them?

Gallup's study lends some aid here too, connecting the dearth of employee engagement to a lack of leadership in corporate America stating, "There is an urgency for leaders to define and convey their vision more clearly--and rally employees around it."

And, Gallup might be onto something. Who doesn't know someone with a foolish or clueless or nightmarish boss? Those who wear too much cologne or barge into your office with no regard for the task currently at hand? Maybe instead, your boss is just detached or uninspiring.

In the law firm, where management and attorneys can be overbearing, it can...

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