Managers have a duty to set goals and standards for employees in addition to being a constant cheerleader and mentor to them. Leaders tend to either drive productivity from their employees or drive employee engagement, but the challenge comes when trying to drive both. At the moment, just 34% of workers in the US are engaged, according to research from Gallup. There’s definitely room for improvement, so I’ve outlined six qualities that managers need to ensure robust employee engagement:
Communicate clear strategy and direction
- When managers provide employees with a clear guide on what they need to accomplish in order to meet their professional goals, it provides them with the incentive to complete the tasks and develop professionally. It also helps to improve employee retention as individuals know what is expected of them and will be more likely to reach their goals as a result. When targets are not made clear for employees, they tend to get frustrated and discouraged. As a result, they may start to look for other opportunities.
Inspire and motivate
- Good managers are able to inspire and motivate their staff. This isn’t something that comes naturally to most people, so learning how to master this is a must. And it doesn’t stop there. What motivates employees today, may not be what motivates them tomorrow. And what motivates some employees, may not motivate others. So managers need to be aware of the different types of motivators. In addition, they should share personal stories with their teams as this shows their employees they have been in the same position.
Establishing stretch goals
- When a manager sits down one-on-one with an employee and talks through their goals and how they can help them to obtain those goals, employees are more driven and motivated to complete the tasks and grow within the company. Working as a team to set goals that are specific to each employee provides them with a level of worth and importance within the company.
Has high integrity and inspires trust
- Trust is a major component of a manager’s role. If employees do not trust their managers, they are not motivated and are often dissatisfied with their positions. When a manager tells an employee they are going to do something, they need to have the ability to deliver or the trust is broken. In addition, a manager also needs to be able to willing to do (or have already done) what they ask of their team. If a manager would not do what they are asking an employee to do, why would they think their employee would do it?
- Arguably, a manager’s most important role is the ability to care about the s professional growth of the team members they manage. These managers typically take the extra time to train and develop their staff as well as helping them to improve their quality of work. This provides employees with a feeling of value and drives them to work harder and produce the best results possible. The chance to learn is now one of the top reasons why people take a job so you can see how important it is. Further, staff who spend time at work learning are 47% less likely to be stressed, 39% more likely to feel successful and productive, and 21% more likely to feel confident and happy.
- Managers should always be learning, and be humble enough to seek out knowledge and strive for improvement. A great manager has the ability to lead by example, therefore if a manager is asking for feedback and implementing those changes, employees are encouraged to do the same. This ensures that nothing is missed by any level of the business.
Organizations rely on the commitment and engagement of their workforces in order to thrive. Put simply, the more engaged an employee is, the more effort they'll put in.