Some managers undertake what is known as transactional management. This is where the manager believes that everybody should just do what they are told because they are paid to do a job. This type of manager believes that it is not up to them to motivate employees and it’s the employee’s fault if things go wrong.
Whilst employees who work for this type of manager may not leave the job in these circumstances, they will only do the minimum required for the role.
The most successful managers understand that to get really good or excellent performance, they need to engage with their teams.
Here are some ideas to generate true employee engagement:
Seek Their Opinion
People feel they are valued by their manager when they are consulted on issues. Being able to have your opinions listened to, can be a huge motivator. As well as gaining people’s cooperation it may also encourage them to help you identify potential problems that you had not considered.
Show Genuine Interest In Their Wellbeing
Managers who show that they care are often rewarded by loyal team members. Fathers who want to attend their child’s school play or mother’s who need to work from home because the child minder is sick, will appreciate it when their manager is flexible. With many families who have both parents working, this will often reduce stress amongst employees and maintain consistent productivity.
Ask For Feedback On Your Management Skills
It is easy to assume that you are a good manager and that everybody is happy with the way that you manage them. The only true way to assess whether your management skills are effective is by asking for feedback. A word of warning, I would ask them to tell you one thing that works for them and one thing that you could do even better. This way you will keep it fairly positive and avoid a barrage of negative comments.
Praise & Recognise Them
Did you know that in a recent survey of employees, recognition from their manager is the top motivator, higher even than money which came in at number three? Showing individuals that you appreciate what they are doing goes a long way to engaging with them. It shows that you are paying attention to them.
Look For Suggestions For Improvements
Most employees are aware of at least one thing that could be done better in the workplace. Creating a climate where people are comfortable in recommending improvements will work wonders for engagement especially if they are a new member of the team who has worked somewhere else. In the days of increased competition, it is often the most efficient and innovative organisations that will survive.
We hope these ideas have been helpful. One important thing to remember however when using these tips – be sincere and genuine, your colleagues will know if you are not!
Let us know how you get on.
Head of Training
Originally published: 14 January, 2013
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