While there are a number of ways to engage employees, the reality is that a company’s managers are those in the hot seat. It’s their approach to the company that drives the greatest results because they the ones who pull the levers of operations, culture, performance and change. They create the conditions for a business to thrive, but if they’re not engaged then business can be in trouble. When their mind is elsewhere, disengaged managers damage business operations.
A good manager is, by nature, a good leader. They are engaged in the company and its culture, and achieve the same from those in their teams. A number of facets make a good leader, from focus, energy and confidence to passion, patience, innovation and integrity. They will stand by their team and their decisions. They build trust and relationships, and promote accountability. Above all, they foster growth through engagement.
More often than not it is the manager who brings new ideas, new cultures and new ways of working to an organisation. They’re aiming to challenge and excite staff because it’s well known that engaged staff work better. The best leaders brought about great change because they knew how to tap into people’s motivation. The same applies in the workplace.
You may be reading this because you’re looking to help your manager do their job better, be more engaging. Or you’re a manager looking for a few tips on how to be more engaging yourself. Either way, here are some ideas for successfully engaging managers.
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Thoughtful managers recognise that they alone don’t have all the answers. By engaging with team members to resolve an issue helps create a sense of ownership for everyone involved. It stimulates both employees and managers and builds trust as everyone gets to participate, rather than be directed, in solving the problem.
Even more trust is built by managers who invite staff to participate in operational and strategic planning sessions. These are occasions in which to bring all of the organisation’s experience to the table. Team members benefit by feeding their experience into developmental planning. Managers benefit from knowledge sharing and the engagement that is generated through participation.
A good, engaging manager leads by example. A manager who can earn the respect and support of staff by collaborating, communicating and recognising their achievements has not only empowered him or herself, they’ve empowered the organisation.
Show how much you appreciate the effort and hard work staff put into in making your company a better place (and hopefully a more profitable one) to work at. It’s also important to recognise when staff, and management, get it wrong. Engaged managers criticise the problem, not the person. They also confess their sins; owning their mistakes sends a powerful message.
It’s obvious that disengaged managers cause damage to business operations but with some effort and goodwill, that can be turned around. This isn’t a definitive list of tips by any means, but it is a starting point and one that’s good for staff, good for management, good for business. Engagement is a win-win-win.