Here are five keys for improving employee engagement, based on research into what effective leaders actually do:
=> Really know the people who work for you – understand their experiences, motivations and interests
=> Have an interest in helping people learn to do new things in new and better ways (this isn’t about formal training, it’s about a coaching mindset and encouragement)
=> Inspire people; not through slogans and posters on the wall, but in practical ways that provide a sense of purpose (e.g. customer interaction and feedback)
=> Involve people through building line of sight and business literacy, and by providing access to fresh information (transparency)
=> Recognising people’s contribution: a “Sincere Well-Informed Timely Thank You” is a powerful thing (but many managers struggle with this).
The list comes from the book “Closing the Engagement Gap: How Great Companies Unlock Employee Potential for Superior Results” by Julie Gebauer and Don Lowman.
When I do manager training, it’s depressing to see how many team leaders fall down on “Know people”. I start easy, like, “What are the names of people in your team?” You’d be amazed. This step is really about empathy – or maybe simply caring a bit.
The best managers in my experience, do all these five things and more. What would you add to the list?
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