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Managing for Employee Engagement

Does your boss inspire you to come into work each day energized, enthusiastic, and ready to be productive?  Chances are, your answer to that question was no.  A recent survey shows that 45% of all employees are either disengaged or only partially engaged in their jobs.  The survey respondents reported that the single most important reason for not being engaged was a poor relationship with their immediate supervisor.  A caring manager who is focused on creating strong relationships with employees can be the difference in a productive and nonproductive team.

Training managers to foster an environment of engagement has become a priority with businesses becoming more aware of the connection between employee engagement and the success of the company.  Companies wait too long to train leaders, according to Jack Zenger, a leadership development expert.  The average age a corporate employee becomes a supervisor is 30, but the average age they receive formal leadership training is 42!  This leaves layers of management with no professional leadership training.

Here are some qualities of effective employee engagement focused management that are included as standard fare in leadership training courses:

  • Honesty and Fairness. The biggest difference between an effective and ineffective manager is that an effective manager acts with honesty and fairness.  The quickest way for a manager to lose the respect of their charges is to be dishonest.  Showing favoritism or inconsistent actions towards their employees can lead to conflict in the team.  Personal integrity is a key value of any successful leader.
  • Clarity. Employees want to know exactly what is expected of them.  Making this clear from the beginning will eliminate misunderstandings down the line.  Also, managers should clearly communicate goals so the whole team is working towards the same outcome.  The plan and path should be equally clear.  It is hard for an employee to be enthusiastic about their daily tasks when they can’t see the big picture they are contributing to for the company’s success.
  • Flexibility. A great manager spots the strengths of their team members and plays to those strengths.  They know each employee well enough to use their talents to the benefit of the company, rather than forcing a predetermined work plan.  Imagine the feeling of accomplishment of an employee who uses their unique skills to help the company reach its goals.
  • Emotional investment. A manager must demonstrate engaged behavior to their employees every day.  Managers who arrive each day enthusiastic and ready to tackle the day’s tasks are contagious to those around them.

Do you know how engaged your managers are?  At NBRI, we recommend employee engagement surveys to determine your employee engagement baseline.  Then, by resurveying periodically, you can gauge the effectiveness of your improvement initiatives.  Visit our website section dedicated to employee survey white papers. Contact us today to learn how employee engagement drives financial performance.

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