More often than not it is the manager who brings new ideas, new cultures and new ways of working to an organisation. Their motivation is a simple one; to engage staff because it’s well know that engaged staff work better. Consider Churchill or Kennedy, men who brought about great change because they knew how to tap into people’s motivation. The same applies in the office. But how do you set about engaging managers so she or he can engage the staff?
You may be reading this because you’re looking to help your manager do their job better. 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.
Get to know your employees. It’s much easier to motivate someone you understand, and when that individual feels involved and encouraged, they’re much more likely to be engaged. Support them in their position, and for new employees, make sure they feel welcomed. Specifics about the organisation, their role within it and how they can benefit from being part of the team is vital in those early days. A little love goes a long way.
Three quarters of companies know that collaboration is important, yet over a third of employees feel left out. That lack of inclusion is not going to build loyalty or engagement. After all, collaboration is the glue that holds an organisation together. Coaching, training, team-building, inter-office and inter-departmental communications are all important areas that should be addressed.
There are two elements to this; recognising both success and failure by both staff and management. Employees know when management has got it wrong, yet hearing them own that mistake sends a powerful message. Similarly it’s important that managers criticise the problem, not the person. Clear and persuasive assessments are significant in this process, just as it is when recognising and rewarding employees for great work.
Which brings us to respect. There’s no room in any organisation for offensive behaviour. Tolerating gossip, bad-mouthing or back-stabbing simply invites worse behaviour. Any lack of action toward disrespect erodes trust without which that you can’t build loyalty.
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Leadership is about helping people understand where they’ve gone right, where they’ve gone wrong, why they’re being asked to do something – not simply expecting orders to be carried out. An open and honest communications strategy is paramount. If employees believe in their managers (which brings us back to trust and respect), they’re more likely to go that extra mile for you and for the company. Even if some policies can’t be disclosed, it’s still possible to be transparent by explaining why.
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.