Walking around your business, it’s easy to think that you’ve done everything you can to provide a positive corporate culture and plenty of career opportunities. Yet, just under the surface there is an unseen, smouldering volcano that could erupt at any time. It’s called your management team. In the effort to boost employee engagement, often otherwise good managers get left behind. According to Gallup, around 51% of managers are not engaged and 14% are actively disengaged at work. How can managers possibly be expected to drive a positive culture and engage their team when they are personally checked out?
The Cascade Effect of employee engagement
In the above Gallup survey, the concept of the “Cascade Effect” was introduced. In a nutshell, this refers to how quickly a leaders’ engagement level directly impacts the engagement of managers, which in turn, directly influences employee engagement. Think of it like a waterfall. If a leader of a company is negative, the water flows downhill to the next manager in line, and downward it continues to flow until the entire organization is flooded with negative, unengaged people. It’s never a good thing and this can cost a company millions in lost revenues, creative ideas, employees and even clients. Would you want to deal with managers who are not behind their own company culture?
Don’t ignore your managers
Managers are the mid-point between leadership and employees. They are often tasked with getting people motivated to perform better. They are the key daily decision makers in the organization. They deserve to experience the same satisfaction on the job as others, but they can easily be taken for granted. They are also hard to find, based on Gallup data less than one in ten people have the skills and ability to lead others.
When considering employee engagement, don’t ignore your manager’s specific needs and stress points. Because they are salaried and are expected to stay at work long after others have cleared the office for the weekend, they can easily become overwhelmed and tired. Asking a manager to start taking on added responsibility or to re-do how he or she completes tasks can be burdensome. Instead, honor the work style of managers and allow them to make suggestions for improving things.
Use a simple real-time manager feedback product to measure the daily engagement levels of managers. Make it easy to access, respond to, and request feedback. In terms of gathering feedback from employees, make it equally intuitive to use. Managers should be able to locate, review, and respond to employees all in one place. Provide access to customized reports that show not only the progress of employees, but also their own data and that of their peers.
Give managers the ability to make suggestions to improve things, based on the needs of employees as well as their own ideas. Don’t put stress on them by demanding things be done one way and one way alone. There are many smart and capable managers who have no outlet for sharing ideas, due to the fear of rejection or worse. In today’s business climate, trust and respect can go a long way.
Tie engagement in with performance metrics too
Since much of what managers do is ensuring their people are happy and connected to the company goals, an employee engagement platform can provide valuable information that helps with setting performance goals and monitoring progress over time. Instead of putting pressure on managers, give them the tools to stay on top of their team’s engagement so things don’t get out of hand.
Consider sending regular requests for input from your managers and then form these into action plans or specific focus groups. When managers work together and combine their talents, fantastic things happen. Not only can this effort bring people together with the purpose of improving the workplace, but people can leave their negativities outside. Identify a set of existing problems in the corporate culture and then work together as a committee to solve them.
Remember, managers are the lifeblood of your organization and they deserve the same level of concern and support as other employees. Provide them with the right tools to reengage them and make the workplace better.
Real-time Manager and Peer-to-Peer surveys can vastly improve engagement levels within an organization. Speak to Thymometrics to find out more: email firstname.lastname@example.org, call +1 646 760 9323 (US) or +44 (0) 1223 750 251 (Europe) or visit thymometrics.com.
Image courtesy of khunaspix at FreeDigitalPhotos.net