Managers have more impact on employee engagement and retention than anyone else in the organization. That’s why it’s so important to offer supervisory skills training and leadership development for managers. They need to know HOW to engage and retain employees.
50% of US adults have left their job to get away from their manager (Gallup).
Half of all employees! That’s worth a closer look.
Is It Important for Employees to Like Their Manager?
Management is not a popularity contest. When managers try to be liked, they make mistakes.
On the other hand:
- 54% of employees who feel they can approach their manager with any type of question are highly engaged (Gallup)
- 65% of employees who don't feel they can approach their manager with any type of question are actively disengaged (Gallup)
- 80% of those dissatisfied with their managers are also disengaged from their employers (Dale Carnegie)
- 70% of employees who lack confidence in senior leadership are not engaged with their employer (Dale Carnegie)
- A lack of supervisor support created distrust among workers (56%) for their employers (APA)
To download additional stats on employee engagement, check out this comprehensive resource from Access Perks.
Taken altogether, these factoids suggest that it is important for employees to respect their managers and to feel supported by them. It’s not about managers being friends with employees. It’s about managers being effective for employees.
The Link between Managerial Effectiveness and Employee Engagement
When employees believe their managers are effective in the way they manage, those employees are significantly more likely to be engaged. That engagement has a cascading effect that benefits both the employee and the business.
- In companies where both leaders and managers are perceived by employees as effective, 72% of employees are highly engaged (Towers Watson)
- 83% of employees experienced a more positive work environment when they felt there was trust in their managers/organization (IBM)
- Only 21% of employees strongly agree that their performance is managed in a way that motivates them to do outstanding work (Gallup)
- 32% of all employees want to see and understand the progress they've made toward goals set by their manager (Ultimate Software)
- 22% of senior decision makers don’t think that regular recognition and thanking employees at work has a big influence on staff retention; 70% of employees say that motivation and morale would improve “massively” with managers saying “thank you” more often (Reward Gateway)
- 91% of workers say they feel motivated to do their best when they have leadership support (American Psychological Association)
These data points provide a road map for looking at your organization and managerial effectiveness.
Next Steps for Managers to Take in Creating a Positive Work Environment
Managers matter. But maybe not in the ways they think.
So much focus is given to managing the work that needs to get done today. It’s often overlooked that managers matter most as leaders of people. That means coaching, developing, giving candid feedback, and taking an interest in the long-term interests of others.
For managers to create a positive workplace and lead people, these are steps to consider:
- Develop as a leader so you can simultaneously manage work AND lead people.
- Understand how the little things you do every day enable you to engage employees.
- Work to establish 2-way trust with members of your team.
- With a firm foundation of trust, delegate with the purpose of developing employees.
- Conduct effective 1-to-1 meetings with each employee to offer feedback and clarity.
- Offer encouragement and recognition more often. Be authentic when you do!
- Get to know employees and let them get to know you and what you stand for, too.
Take employee engagement seriously. It’s not an optional, nice-to-have, kumbayah luxury. It’s an absolute necessity that every manager needs to know about and proactively work on.
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