We are connected
Managers are employees. It seems that the employee engagement field sometimes neglects or forgets to realize that managers are employees. We have statements constantly swirling around that people join organizations and leave managers. Aon Heweitt just completed a sound European study on employee engagement but one unfortunate headline stated: “Line managers fail to act on employee engagement surveys…” We must be careful about implying that managers are failing and that it is just their responsibility to engage employees.
Engaging the manager. Managers need skills, tools, perspectives and help with their own engagement. Most managers only spend two to five days a year on activities relating to their engagement survey results. Is the organization willing to take some things off of managers’ plates to give them time, space, and energy to be more directly involved in engaging with employees? I believe managers play a key and pivotal role in employee engagement but it make no sense to pass judgement, cast blame, or suggest they are responsible for someone else’s engagement.
Principles of engaging managers. As opposed to the article headline, I appreciated the principles Aon Hewitt outlined:
- Only engaged leaders and managers can create engaged teams.
- Managers need to have clear expectations regarding their role in engaging employees.
- Managers need support in the form of role models from senior management, but also access to tools and experienced HR advice.
- Managers are more likely to take action on engagement when they have seen the hard evidence of the impact it has on performance.
Managers making a positive difference. As Jenny Merry, the UK engagement Practice Leader at Aon Hewitt stated, “People leave organizations which have not properly equipped managers to be engaging. Managers could and should have a positive impact on employee engagement. With careful planning, expectation setting and support for managers, it is possible to make this a reality.”
How managers can apply the 10 keys of employee engagement. I wholeheartedly concur and have addressed this gap by offering 1/2 day sessions on employee engagement for managers. We need to integrate employee engagement into the way of work rather than an extra task, duty, responsibility, or program. These sessions will help managers with their own engagement while contributing to the engagement of other people in their organization. This is not a theoretical session. It is a practical session focused on 10 high leverage actions:
- Achieve results
- Path progress
- Maximize performance
- Foster recognition
- Build relationships
- Enliven energy
- Leverage strengths
- Make meaning
- Master moments
- Enhance well-being
Contact information. This workshop is being unveiled in Toronto. If you would like to learn more, or bring the powerful workshop to your group or organization, contact David Zinger firstname.lastname@example.org. To register for the Toronto workshop, click here.