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Monday, April 10, 2023

5 Ways to Engage Your Managers

There are numerous studies on the relationship between managers and employees regarding engagement. It is quite notable that most of the google searches focus on employee engagement. Or on what a manager can do to increase employee engagement.

But what about the managers? What if they are disengaged?

According to the Gallup Business Journal, 70% of the variance in team engagement across business units is explained by the quality of the manager. In other words, engagement is a management issue.

And this makes sense. Employees naturally gauge their connection and engagement with an organization through their local relationships and environments. And no one has a greater influence on those day-to-day interactions, processes, and operations than the managers on the ground with them.

Great leaders show their employees what they need to do, both to succeed in the business and help the business succeed. Engaging managers are highly motivated, efficient, collaborative and, most importantly, nurture engaged employees. 80% of employees with a higher level of trust in their management are more committed to the business. Engaged managers understand they represent their company and its values, and are committed to achieving any objectives that align with those.

Organizations need to understand what managers are doing in the workplace- build or break the engagement.

Many of the techniques that boost employee engagement often work for managers too. Thus, instead of firing your disengaged managers, look at the following methods of engaging managers.

1. Improve Communication and Growth and Development Opportunities.

The majority of managers will never accept that they are bad communicators. We take communication skills in managers for granted.

And for a manager, it might be a little humiliating to be advised to get some training to develop their necessary communication skills. However, communication training is a great option to improve their expertise.

But, it is not just for their communication skills. Managers need overall growth and development opportunities, provided these options to promote loyalty, and generate motivation.

2. Practice Empathy with them.

The key to cultivating managers' quality and improving their engagement with the organization is to show empathy for them. We often provide empathy training and urge the managers to practice it. But unless we understand the hardship of managers, the initiative would fall on deaf ears.

Thus, we should aim to instill empathy in managers by exercising compassion with them. We should seek managerial feedback and learn from mistakes while keeping confidence in the business.

3. Foster Engagement through Collaboration.

Collaborating managers are the first to be selected for intricate tasks requiring inter-departmental teamwork. Thus, instilling collaborative and engagement skills in managers is essential.

Again, collaboration and engagement are practically synonyms. So a perfect way to promote engagement is to collaborate with managers.

4. Build Transparency.

There are times when it is not possible to reveal any corporate strategies. But unless it causes any security issue, you should be as transparent as possible with your managers. You should explain why you cannot reveal some data at present. We should share the targets, objectives, and current performance reviews of the company with the managers.

5. Create a Culture of Recognition.

The longer managers take to recognize team members, the less likely employees will recognize them as engaged managers. Thus, it is a two-way process. To get recognized, managers should first learn the art of recognizing their engaged employees. On the other hand, employees should recognize managers for everything positive they do in the workplace.

Managers are often saddled with the task of raising engagement rates among their teams by senior leadership. After all, leaders often assume those managers know their teams best and have such a strong impact on the daily employee experience - shouldn't they be accountable for engagement?

But since such a small portion of managers are engaged themselves (just 35% according to this Gallup survey), asking them to take on the task of engaging employees when they're disengaged doesn't set anyone up for success.

Instead, it's better to raise the engagement levels of managers themselves if you have a significant employee engagement problem at your workplace. Those efforts will pay off in spades as both your managers and their teams become increasingly engaged at work.

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