I like the direction that Joe Folkman takes in this article. He quotes research that suggests that the immediate supervisor accounts for the biggest impact on employee engagement.
This is not new. A study by the Corporate Leadership Council, way back in 2004, found that “the manager is most important as the enabler of employees’ commitment to their jobs, organizations, and teams.”
From this the importance to up-skilling team leaders, supervisors and other front-line leaders is clear. Skills in areas such as communication, influence, behaviour change and inspiring others to action are essential skills for front-line leaders.
In his article Folkman points out that more is not always better – sometimes it is just more. In my training I encourage managers to understand the importance of moving from communicating the “how” to communicating the “why”. In other words, communicating more “how to” is not always better, it’s just more. The best way to shift people’s thinking is to communicate “why” we are doing this and why we are doing it in this way. This is a unique skill set in its own right – I call it learning to “speak the language of why.”
Enjoy the article…
Many organizations that conduct employee engagement surveys believe that measuring engagement is the only necessary step to improving it as well. However, after a few years of administering the survey many organizations find their engagement scores stalling or declining rather than improving. In many ways, measuring engagement creates an expectation that it will be significantly improved. I believe there are two fundament issues that hamper most improvement efforts. Issue 1 – The Source of Poor Engagement If you work for a poor leader you will be an unengaged employee. The graph below shows results from over 11,000 work groups within the same organization. Employees rated both the effectiveness of their immediate manager and their level of engagement. As you can see, the group with the poorest rated managers coincided with very low levels of engagement. For every increase in the manager’s effectiveness we could measure an increase in the level of engagement.
Read more here – Measuring Engagement Does Not Improve It