A manager’s quick guide to engage your team, stay in tune with them, and make an impact as work happens
Managers can make employees love their jobs or dread them. We’ve all heard it before. People don’t leave organizations, they leave managers. What you need to know is, you’re not just doing your job, but you’re relied upon to connect with, monitor, and develop an entire team. That’s no small task.
Great employee engagement levels are a direct reflection of better management. So, what can managers do to engage their employees?
Here are some simple ways to spark motivation and engagement in your teams right away
The respect mantra
Whether you’re new to a position of leadership, or you’ve been managing people your whole life, there are specific mantras about trust and respect to live by. You have to walk the line between motivational and inspirational, while also being firm and direct.
You want to promote a positive attitude and an open environment where employees can feel comfortable and productive. A big part of the process has to do with respect — promoting self-respect, respect amongst peers, and respect for the work itself. This includes respecting their interests, space etc. The better relationships you develop, the more you’ll chip away at the boss stigma that inherently comes from being the leader.
Let Them Learn!
Engaged employees hold higher value to new learning or training opportunities available to them. Get your team to learn something new. Learning is not complete unless it's shared with the rest of the bunch. Find opportunities to cross-train them with other co-workers to develop any new skill. Encourage them to contribute a new piece of information, insights, ideas, blogs they would have stumbled upon by creating a learning group on Empuls and use the group as a quick reference to fetch any valuable piece of knowledge.
Managers play a huge role in aligning employees goals to organisational goals, and an employee needs to know how they contribute towards the success of meeting the organisation’s primary goals. It creates an atmosphere where everyone works together and understands their role better. They see the impact of their actions which gives each one a role to play and engenders accountability while providing natural points for recognition and celebration of good
Feedback is the breakfast of Champions.
Managers must give prompt, actionable feedback on an ongoing basis to keep teams aligned with and focused on goals. Give constructive feedback that focuses on the behaviour (not the person) and what the team member can do differently next time. Give praise in the way that’s social and visible to all. Most importantly, continue to implement each of these best practices on an ongoing basis.
Giving feedback is important; listening to it is mission-critical. Receiving feedback is what makes managers and of course, the entire organization - better.
REWARDS, RECOGNITION & APPRECIATION
An excellent team consists of rock stars and superstars. Rock stars do stable work on a slow growth trajectory, and superstars do ambitious work on a fast growth trajectory. A balanced team needs both types of workers.
Too often, the only result that gets recognized is a job well-done. What about employees who invest time and effort into a project that falls just short of the end goal? Recognize hard work by applauding them with instant appreciation on empuls, and this will keep employees motivated, help them regain confidence by turning any failure, roadblocks into a learning experience.
Co-workers have a better idea of the daily effort of an employee to perform at their jobs than you as a manager. Therefore, receiving recognition from a peer who understands what it took to accomplish something can be more valued than receiving praise from a manager, or even the CEO. Brew in the culture of peer-to-peer recognition within your team, and this would be a motivating factor for every team member.
This simple expression of social gratitude at the right time sends a powerful message not only to the employee alone but also creates a culture of appreciation in your org. These two little words give employees the priceless recognition they deserve, acknowledge that you depend on your employees for help, and express that you value employee contribution.
Recognize employees with some fun and great workplace awards. Tie these to your company values. You could announce the winners in a variety of ways from your main town hall on empuls or create a rewards group.
Here are some award ideas:
Part of showing employees you care is expressing interest in their personal lives and events that are meaningful to them. Birthdays, weddings, new babies, new homes, work anniversaries, graduations, etc. — celebrate these significant moments. You could even celebrate their victory beyond their work- it could be completing a marathon, discovering a trekking spot, finishing a lovely painting etc.
Remember Spirit Week from high school? Who didn’t love that? Build spirit in your team by doing something similar to pump up their Fridays. Have your team members take turns to host something fun for the team every Friday and post the pics on empuls where you can flaunt your team spirit with others. Even the other teams would draw inspiration from you.
Here are a few spirit day ideas:
To be authentic, you need to understand and embrace each employee’s unique skills and traits. When employees are socially recognized on Empuls, they shall be known for their efforts on each project while receiving organisation-wide kudos. You build meaningful relationships with your employees where they feel valued and inspired when they are a part of your team.
You want to be trusted, and trust is built through relationships. You’ve seen the benefits of empathy through previous roles and experiences, and you want to replicate that in your relationships with employees.
Employees treat you differently because of your position. Your title makes you less approachable, when you wish them on their birthdays, anniversaries or encourage them to explore their hobbies like painting, photography, poetry and comment on their work on Empuls. This would break down the silos and make them more comfortable with you.
You want to coach your team members without intimidating them. Along with their work, it’s essential to make sure you acknowledge their personal, professional milestones so that every passing day at work is special for them.
You get to know each team member as their own person, not just another cog in the machine. By understanding their strengths and weaknesses, you maximize the potential of every employee. This allows employees to grow personally and professionally. Capturing employee feedback through surveys on Empuls- by Xoxoday encourages employees to share their thoughts, concerns etc. Listening to and acting on their feedback builds trust and brings down the barriers between manager and employee.
The better you know a person, the more you can tap into their strengths and drive them. You also need to be sensitive to individual needs when providing solutions – what engages one person may disengage another.
An organization is a collection of teams and a team is a collection of individuals who are interdependant & work towards accomplishing a common purpose. While your HR crew can facilitate a lot of employee initiatives, finally the success lies in each of the teams.
How the managers and leaders drive these initiatives within their teams is the ultimate key. If every manager handles it well, the organization will automatically become engaged, aligned, productive etc.
Empuls is no magic tonic for an engaged workforce, it only works as a medium to supercharge your leadership qualities, creating the ultimate experience for your employees.
Cheers to a happy & engaged team!