Engaged employees are fully involved and enthusiastic about their work, and they further their organization‘s success. Employee engagement is important to an organization’s human relations department and to senior leadership. However, the group that can create the largest impact on engagement is the front-line managers. Today, one of the main goals of managers is to boost employee engagement. A focus area for managers is their employees’ commitment to the organization and willingness to perform beyond expectations. Engaged employees also improve retention levels and impact customer satisfaction, thereby increasing ROI.
Dale Carnegie Training’s new research shows that the most influential factor in employee engagement is the relationship between the immediate supervisor and his/her direct reports. Below are five ways managers can improve their managerial skills and build relationships with employees.
1. Perform the Pivot Role
As immediate manager, you are the bridge that delivers the senior leadership and organizational goals to the employees, and vice versa. Managers are responsible for making employees feel that their voices and needs are heard by top management. Impart the goals, values, and vision of the organization to the employees and explain how those goals can benefit them and help further their careers. Also, ensure that the employees’ voices are heard. Listen to their concerns and respond to them, and pass that feedback to senior management.
2. Set a Good Example
What managers say, how they say it, what they do, and how they behave all affect employees’ attitudes about their jobs the organization as a whole. Employees who are happy and satisfied with their direct manager are more likely to support organizational goals and identify with the organization’s vision; they are less likely to change their job for a minor salary increase.
Thirty-eight percent of employees who feel their immediate supervisors display strong leadership and positive standards are satisfied with their managers, and over fifty percent of them are engaged. (Employee Engagement Research Study)
3. Communicate Positive Emotions
Below are five positive emotions that managers can evoke in employees to move them from partially to fully engaged employees:
A direct relationship exists between positive emotions and an employee’s level of engagement. When people feel positive emotions, they are energetic and more likely to complete tasks and help other people. Managers should strive to help employees feel valued and confident, which will ignite workplace enthusiasm and excitement. Enthusiastic employees are ready to walk the extra mile to complete the tasks because they care about the organization and want to work to further its goals.
4. Be a Caring Manager
Employees want to feel that their immediate supervisors are interested in them. They care about their employees’ lives outside of work and understand how that can affect job performance. The Employee Engagement Research Study shows that employees who feel their immediate supervisor cares about them and shows an interest in them on a personal level are more engaged. Caring managers have a major impact on their employees’ performance, which leads to heightened productivity, satisfied customers, and increased sales.
5. Be a Proactive and Strong Leader
Give guidance to employees and especially to new employees who need to develop the right skills to work efficiently. Communicate their roles and responsibilities clearly. Give the employees feedback so they understand what they are doing right; show them encouragement to help them improve. Inspire employees by showing them how their efforts contribute to the team and the organization’s success. 53% percent of fully engaged employees say they learned a lot from their supervisors.