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If managers aren't engaged, do you think workers are?

Sharon Florentine | May 17, 2016
Engagement is linked to productivity, retention, morale and innovation. But if your managers aren't engaged, their direct reports won't be, either.

Today's workforce wants to have a clear understanding of how their work impacts the larger strategy of the business, and so managers need to make a greater effort to become facilitators and mentors, helping their direct reports map their individual work to larger company goals and strategy, says Hsu.

"We talk to a lot of clients about how to clearly map individual work to company goals; about setting weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly goals. That process and the ongoing communication and feedback taps into external motivation - because there's the possibility of reward and recognition - and intrinsic motivation, too, as people see that their behavior matches up with goals and has a positive outcome," Hsu says.

Put me in, coach

As businesses increasingly use engagement as a key performance indicator, managers should do some soul-searching and look at their own levels of engagement and that of their direct reports to see where they can improve, according to Sandhir.

"Managers have to step up to the plate here. They can't get away with being detached and unavailable. Today's workforce needs and wants regular feedback and recognition, and managers have to deliver. The analogy I like is that of a sports team coach -- they don't wait until the end of the game to coach, they're doing it before, during and after to get the best results," Sandhir says.


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