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Wednesday, November 2, 2022

Managers Play a Crucial Role in Employee Engagement

If you’re a leader looking to improve employee engagement and performance at your organization, it pays to spend time working with the people who can deliver more impact than any other—managers.

Middle managers play a key role in employee engagement, creating a respectful and trusting relationship with their direct reports, communicating company values and setting expectations for the day-to-day business of any organization.

The relationship between an employee and their manager is one of the top drivers of employee engagement and leading indicators of employee turnover. When that relationship is strained, it can create a disconnect between an individual and their motivation to do their best work. When a manager is leading effectively, their team members are much more likely to be engaged.

But middle managers need to be empowered by being given larger responsibilities, trained for their expanded roles and more involved in strategic decisions. If an organization's executives and HR professionals want to hold managers accountable for the engagement levels, they should:

Make sure that managers and employees have the tools to do their jobs correctly.

Periodically assign managers larger, more exciting roles.

Give managers appropriate authority.

Accelerate leadership development efforts.

Ask managers to convey the corporate mission and vision and to help transform the organization.

In fact, research shows higher manager capability increases the likelihood of both employee engagement and performance. And that, in turn, supports bottom-line results. Organizations that see highly engaged, strong performers are almost twice as likely to report growth in revenue and profitability compared to those with low performance and engagement.

Bringing managers into the fold and giving them ownership over engagement initiatives can be hugely beneficial and make transformation happen faster. After all, managers know the day-to-day challenges of employees best, and the organization can only win when teams are firing on all cylinders.

Invite managers to partner with your leadership team to determine ideal employee engagement outcomes. Then, give them the space and autonomy they need to come up with creative solutions to achieve those goals. Let them take ownership of how changes are implemented and how those changes are communicated to employees.

The truth is, a frontline manager can be an executive’s greatest ally in the war against lackluster employee engagement. The challenge for business leaders is making sure their managers are set up for success.

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