Employee Engagement is Not Possible Without Manager Engagement
What is This Employee Engagement and Why Does it Matter?
Less then a third of employees are fully engaged at work according to Gallup for several many now. And Point B, a Seattle based consulting firms, says that employee engagement will be one of the top three most important topics in organizational life this year again, right up there with cloud technology and data analytics.
Why does it even matter if employees are engaged? Why is it such a big topic? According to Mike Pongon, CEO of Point B, says that the lack of employee engagement is costing nearly 550 billion in lost productivity! Too much Mine Craft while at work I guess!
An important and related topic to point out is the impact that direct managers have on employees. Almost all of us have a boss at work and all of us know that it's true that that relationship is second only to our spouse and kids to the happiness (or stress and pain) in our life. Ciaran Foley adds credibility this point when he pointed to a survey his firm conducted asking HR professionals what had the most impact on their happiness at work and the top response was relationship with their direct supervisor.
So then would you agree that there can be no employee engagement without manager engagement?
Well Where to Start?
If you're a manager at any level within an organization, but especially if you have some layers of managers between you and the employees executing the day to day of the organization then here are the steps to help you make traction:
Start By Promoting the Right People to Managers
I talked about this in a previous blog, Why Promoting the Best Widget Maker to Boss Rarely Works. Basically the point is that you should be extremely clear and explicit about what a great leader is in your organization and that list should mostly have to do with how to motivate, lead and inspire others since that what leadership is and requires.
Develop and Support Them Like Crazy
Pump every developmental opportunity you can into their leadership abilities. Hopefully you have formal internal programs, but if not there are great one that can be brought in or that you can send them to. Give them books like Being the Boss, On Managing People, or The 3 Signs of a Miserable Job. Get them mentors in addition to you.
Engage Those Managers
Stay connected to your direct report managers and even managers further down the chain. Care personally about them and their careers. Make it safe for them to take risk and fail. Cheer them on. Coach them through problems, without taking over.
Then Teach Them (and Expect Them) to Engage Their Team
So many companies nowadays are using engagement surveys. But not nearly enough on them using the surveys are holding those direct leaders responsible for that number and basing their pay, bonuses and careers on it. Maybe you can't swing the pendulum that far to fast or at all if you aren't the owner or CEO, but you can holds you managers to the expectation that team engagement is just as important as sales and profit, actually more-so.
The more you focus on manger engagement first, the more successful your organization will be at engaging its employees. And then everybody wins.
Happy Managers = Happy Employees = Happy Customers = More Profits = Happy Owners = Healthier and More Successful Communities