How Managers Can Better Engage Their Teams

by Sep 18, 2017Employee Engagement Training

Smart Companies Ensure Managers Know How to Better Engage Their Teams
Less than one-third of employees in our Best Places to Work Employee engagement survey report being highly engaged in their jobs from.  But your managers can absolutely create the environment required for their teams to care about what they do and bring their best efforts and attitudes to the work each and every day.

Managers Have Great Influence Over Employee Engagement
In our work over the last two decades with clients who want to be sure they are in that enviable one-third of the workforce, we have observed just how great is the influence of managers on the degree of employee engagement…for good or for bad.

Bad Managers Do Not set Their Teams Up to Succeed
It’s easy to see how a bad manager can turn employees off on their job and make their lives miserable by not investing in development, not giving constructive or consistent feedback, and by not openly and honestly communicating.

Good Managers Do Two Things Extremely Well
But what does it take for a good manager to motivate, engage, grow and retain their top talent?  It takes a combination of effective, frequent communication and clear expectations.

#1.  Communication
Effective, sincere, consistent communication is the foundation for all good, healthy relationships. And it holds true as well for the key relationship between a manager and employee. Employees want to feel as if their manager cares about them, both personally and professionally.

Managers can show their genuine interest in their employees by

  • meeting with them one-on-one regularly and frequently,
  • listening and learning about their strengths and interests, and
  • establishing a safe and open environment in which to share ideas and concerns.

When managers foster this kind of trusting, open, caring relationship with their employees, there are far higher levels of engagement.

#2.  Clear Expectations
The other part of the “magic sauce” is establishing clear performance standards and expectations regarding How people behave and the Results they are expected to produce.  If an employee doesn’t understand what they are to do and how well they must do it, they feel confused, frustrated, and unproductive.

And, as a manager, you want just the opposite…an employee who has a clear picture of what they are expected to accomplish and the standards against which their performance will be measured.

Clear performance expectations provide a fair and accurate sense of individual and team performance status and have the following attributes:

  • Transparent and Accessible
  • Consistent
  • Fair and Trusted
  • Accurate
  • Timely
  • Relevant

The Bottom Line
When managers combine clear and consistent communication with clear and consistent performance expectations, you can watch your team pull out the smiley faces when they are polled on their degree of employee engagement.

To learn more about the effect managers have on employee engagement, download our latest research report The Relationship Between Employee Engagement and Manager Effectiveness

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