How great managers can drive employee engagement

- Motivation

by Lucy Benton

The business world is facing a bit of a crisis. This time, it’s not about money, stocks, or violations. The reason for this one may be more important because it is the holy grail of modern workplace: employee engagement.

Recent studies suggested about the ongoing crisis in this area. For example, the 2016 Gallup’s State of the Workplace Initiative found that only 33 percent of U.S. workers were engaged at their jobs. According to the report, unengaged employees cost companies between $480 and $600 billion a year in lost productivity.

Yikes.

Such low engagement levels directly reflect ineffective management. But how to improve the situation? What do great managers do to truly engage their employees?

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If you’re looking for answers to these questions, read below. We’re going to provide you with great tips to create motivation and engagement you can use right away

Employee Engagement Tip #1: Great Managers Make Employees Happy by Caring on a Personal Level

Happy and therefore engaged employees are those knowing they are valued and appreciated. To foster these feelings, great managers show how much they care for their staff.

Great leaders always know that happy and thriving people make happy and thriving businesses. For example, here’s what Richard Branson had to say about caring:

‘Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.’

At Virgin, Branson introduced the Wellbeing Program to make the well-being of employees an integral part of the business and help them enjoy a better work-life balance.

Here’s how to do more:

  • Do your best to help them personally (assist with work issues and even personal issues like finding a place to rent)
  • Don’t act like a big boss (means avoiding acting like you’re above them)
  • Be real with them (provide honest, constructive criticism but don’t be unkind)
  • Celebrate their successes together (congratulate them on a work well done and express your appreciation)

Employee Engagement Tip #2: Great Managers Communicate Richly

Any healthy relationship is based on communication. To engage their followers, great leaders communicate with them regularly using methods that are convenient for both.

According to the Gallup’s The State of the American Manager report (which, by the way, also found that most of the managers are unengaged), employees whose leaders hold meetings on a regular basis are almost three times as likely to be engaged.

In addition to frequency, communication forms that managers use are also an important consideration. For example, the same study by Gallup found that managers using a combination of diverse communication methods (digital, phone, and face-to-face) for daily interaction with their followers were able to produce the highest engagement

Employee Engagement Tip #3: Great Managers Provide Opportunities

Would you like to work on a job that doesn’t provide you with new skills? Of course not, because your value on the labor market, and therefore your salary, would remain the same regardless of the years of experience. That’s why people don’t like to work for managers that provide a static and repetitive job.

On the other hand, great managers keep their employees happy and engaged by constantly trying to develop their professional skills and improve their personal productivity. For example, they:

  • Expand job descriptions by adding new, exciting responsibilities
  • Involve employees in decision-making process
  • Delegate their own responsibilities
  • Provide opportunities to learn new professional skills by organizing workshops, conferences etc.

Employee Engagement Tip #4: Great Managers Provide Clear Instructions and Goals

People don’t appreciate it when their boss gives them vague instructions or sets unclear goals. Getting unclear, vague, or conflicting messages is a real motivation and engagement killer that fuels dissatisfaction, turnover rate, and working environment.

Great managers know it and learn how to give directions to their employees. For example, they:

  • Avoid micromanaging
  • Provide context
  • Ask if anything is unclear
  • Assess whether an employee has appropriate expertise to complete a task
  • Offer supervision to help employees develop confidence
  • Determine if an employee has conflicting priorities or deadlines.
  • Provide well thought out, CLEAR and SMART goals.

Employee Engagement Tip #5: Great Managers Hold Themselves Accountable to Their Employees

As it was advised above, acting like you’re above your employees will ultimately result in a lack of trust and motivation. On the other hand, if you hold yourself accountable for your mistakes and don’t blame others, you will gain respect from the followers

So, spend more time with them and ensure that their success is your success by giving them meaningful goals and helping to achieve them effectively and efficiently. As the result, meaningful daily interactions and trust will ensure high engagement.

Conclusion

The importance of engaging employees to organizational success is difficult to overstate, and managers play a paramount role in ensuring it. By focusing on employees and their needs, one can engage them and reach the new heights.

Comment below and tell us how you keep your employee engaged!

Photo: Pexels

For more posts on employee engagement check out:

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