Are you un-engaged at work? A better question may be, “Are you an engaging manager?”
Why is it important to engage your employees? In the well-regarded book, 12:The Elements of Great Managing, author Rodd Wagner, principal of Gallup (of Gallup Polls) reports that engaged employees average 27% less absenteeism than those who are disengaged. Wagner also reports that in a 10,000-person company, absenteeism from disengagement costs the business about 5,000 lost days, or about $600,000, annually.
And according to a 2007 Florida State University study, when managers manage poorly, 40% of employees leave their bosses, not their jobs.
Here are some common behaviors that engaging managers practice:
- Solicit advice from your team on problems.
- Work with employees to use team decisions.
- Understand how each employee likes to receive information. Some individuals like personal meetings, telephone, e-mail or text messages.
- When tempted to be directive, consider whether this is the best way to proceed. Whenever possible, handle the issue with a more collaborative approach.
- Use “we” when talking about your work group or discussing successful results. Your team is what makes you successful and praising them to others also benefits everybody.
- In meetings, encourage rotating facilitators among your staff. You do not always need to lead meetings.
- Ask employees to discuss their responsibilities with the entire group so that everyone knows where overlap occurs and how common problems can be solved.
- Discuss job issues and involve employees in designing goals and objectives for the upcoming year.
- Look for opportunities for employees to receive direct praise.
- Make sure that everyone who contributes is mentioned on reports and memos. Public recognition is important.
A big part of a manager’s role is to help facilitate employee success. Ask yourself, “What motivates my employee?” It has been proven that when employees are motivated and happy, productivity and performance go up.
And when performance needs improvement, look for the positive that can come out of offering information. Most people don’t know that they are performing at less than capacity. Frame constructive feedback as a long term opportunity for staff to grow in their career.
Ghandi said, “Be the change you wish to see.” Beyond building a stronger team, your engaging manager style might help many people (including you) become more productive and happier at work.