Engagement And The Manager

engaged staffA well-known saying says that people leave their manager, not their company! The truth of this saying is clearly demonstrated by the results of a Gallup survey which revealed that 50% of employees leave their job to get away from their manager! So ensuring that your managers and supervisors know what they need to do in order to engage their direct reports is critical if lower staff turnover and improved productivity are to be achieved.

Most companies want an engaged and motivated workforce. The benefits of such a workforce are well documented and include a reduction in staff turnover and improved productivity. It is also well documented that line management plays a large role in achieving staff engagement.

Be careful who you promote

Don’t promote people into a supervisory position until they are ready.

Successful and ambitious employees often equate personal career progression with promotion into a supervisory or managerial role. But employees who are promoted into such a position simply because they are good at their current job rarely make the transition into people management without appropriate training and support. This is because the skills needed to manage people are very different to those used in their job. If these people management skills are not developed then your top performer will turn out to be your poorest manager. This is frequently seen in sales, where superstar sales people take on the management of the sales team.

You can help your top performers, whether they are in sales or other roles, to make the change from team member to team supervisor by providing them with a supervisor training course.

Be careful how you manage performance

Many companies are taking a hard look at their performance management processes and the annual performance review is first in line for a major overhaul. Too often these reviews are seen as a stand-alone process that is carried out once a year in order to fill in a form that no one uses. With this attitude it is hardly surprising that performance reviews have got a bad name.

Managers who hold regular meetings with their employees are three times more likely to have an engaged workforce than those managers who rely solely on the annual review. Holding regular one-to-one meetings with their team should be seen as a key part of the supervisors role and central to any positive performance management process. As part of this, your supervisors will need to learn how to give motivational praise as this recognition should be seen as something that is done daily not annually.

Be sure to include them

If you want your supervisors to have a positive impact on employee engagement, then they must be engaged themselves. Surveys show that currently only 35% of managers are engaged at work.

A starting point is to help your supervisors to understand your company’s strategic goals and what the senior management team sees as “success”. If they don’t know this then they’ll be unaware and more likely to be disengaged.

You should also involve your supervisors in the planning processes, as this helps them to understand why some projects are higher priority than others. It also allows them to pass this information on to their employees and feel more confident providing answers to any questions asked by their team.

These three things set your newly promoted supervisors up for success, engaging them in engaging and leading their team to improved performance.