Posted on October 21, 2013

How to Engage Your Managers

A recent Gallup poll found that seven out of ten of today’s employees are not actively engaged at their workplaces. What’s more, this trend is consistent for the majority of companies, no matter their size. Naturally, employers are looking for ways to combat this alarming trend.

There is lots of advice out there about how to engage employees in general, but not as much about how to engage managers specifically. Here are two things you must do if you hope to engage the managers at your company:

1. Realize how much influence managers have

Direct supervisors have the most power of anyone over employee engagement and retention. Management expert Gregory Smith explains this in the clearest, simplest terms: “When an employee leaves, he hasn’t quit the company—he has quit his boss.” As you develop your employees and promote them into higher positions, it is important to be aware of the disproportionate influence they will exert over the engagement of their direct reports. Remember, a disengaged employee in a management position can do a lot more damage.

2. Give them the tools they need

Given the amount of influence managers have, it’s imperative to equip them for success. Here are a few tools you can give managers to help them succeed:

* Streamlined and efficient administrative processes enable managers to devote their time to developing and engaging their direct reports.
* Access to analytics and business intelligence gives them visibility and insight into key metrics.
* Written policies and procedures minimize the risk of non-compliance.

Also, employee engagement is a constant, ongoing process. Just because an employee has moved a few rungs up the ladder does not mean you should stop developing and engaging them.

Learn more about how to engage employees throughout their careers at your company: download the whitepaper *Employee Engagement: Why You Can’t Afford to Get it Wrong.

Sources: Gallup’s 2013 State of the American Workforce Report, Gregory Smith