(From San Francisco Chronicle) -- A significant challenge supervisors and leaders are currently contending with is properly aligning their business' objectives with employees' engagement efforts. Despite cutbacks across the board, research by TNS Employee Insights shows that focus needs to be placed on engagement programs, with attentive employees being more committed and making a greater contribution to the goals and bottom line initiatives of an organization.

Normative benchmarking data from 120 countries and over two million employees has established three key indicators of employee engagement in high performing companies:

•     Employee voice is more prominent: Those surveyed said that overall, his or her supervisor listens to ideas and concerns, and involves them in solving problems related to the work group. Individuals in organizations with sustained financial success and growth also reported feeling encouraged coming up with new and better ways of operating, and that sufficient effort is made to obtain employees' opinions and perspectives.

•    Employee perspective of effective leadership is higher: Among high performing companies, 26 percent of individuals surveyed reported feeling that management will take action based on survey results. Additionally, 32 percent of such respondents have confidence in the leadership ability of senior management.

•     Measurement of inspirational leadership is stronger: When asked about a direct supervisor, six percent of employees reported that his or her leader cares about them as an individual. Two percent in high performing companies also said that their supervisor effectively coaches and guides their work; and another two percent contend that the supervisor inspires colleagues in their work group.