Employee Engagement – Leadership
Welcome back! Glad we haven’t scared you off quite yet. Today we’re going to be talking about the second of our 5 Categories – Leadership.
Now this one will probably come as no surprise to you. Try typing some variant of ‘Why do people leave their jobs’ into Google. Chances are, the first link you click on will have ‘bad management’ in their top 5. People don’t quit a job, they quit a boss, right?
Well that’s true in a lot of cases. However, our version of Leadership runs deeper than ‘is X person a decent human being or not?’ The Harvard Business Review explains this pretty well here.
You’ve got to take into account whether a manager can support your employees correctly, if they can tailor work to an individual and their goals, and whether they can actually help each individual reach their goals. The list goes on.
Anyway, the point we’re getting at is that there’s a few sides to effective Leadership that can go wrong. So as per, we’ve separated Leadership into 4 pillars that are crucial to the category.
Pillar 1 – Respect
No one’s saying you’ve got to be best mates with your boss. It’s okay to not want to hang out with them down the pub. Although if you’re British and are turning down the pub, something might be wrong…
But it goes a hell of a long way if you feel you can respect your boss. Do you trust them? Do you think your manager would have your back if you needed them to? If you can answer these questions positively, I bet you’d work harder for that person. In fact, I don’t need to risk any money, because here’s a couple of studies that show that you probably would:
Pillar 2 – Support
The amount of support a manager gives treads a fine line. Your manager is there if you need them, offers 1 on 1 time, and shows an interest in what you’re doing? Brilliant! Your manager isn’t around for advice, but spends the rest of the time monitoring your work so intently that you can feel their breath on your neck? Not so brilliant…
Anyway, the right amount of support is super important when it comes to talent development. For those of you who love a research paper, you’re in for a treat.
Basically, your managers need to be able to connect with your teams. There’s plenty more research out there that shows that people-focused managers perform better. Someone who’s solely good at the technical aspects of a job, will probably fall down when it comes to something like employee support.
Pillar 3 – Competence
Competence is tricky to monitor unless you sit in with your staff regularly, and watch how your managers perform – and nobody’s got time for that. Otherwise, you’re probably waiting for a string of complaints from your staff before you do anything. And in that instance, you probably don’t need us to tell you what’s wrong…
This one might seem pretty self explanatory, but do your managers actually have the technical skills to lead a team? Your teams might be able to get by without solid leadership, but it takes a competent manager to take them to the next level.
Pillar 4 – Targets
Psychologists absolutely love looking into goal setting and targets – with good reason.
The motivational benefits of effective target setting are pretty hard to ignore. (If you’re interested in a longer read, check out Edwin Locke’s book on motivation. It’s pretty insightful.
So, do your managers know how to effectively set targets? Do they set fair and achievable targets? Do they provide feedback on how your staff are progressing towards them? Yeah we know, there’s a lot to think about. But without this, your staff could be left frustrated and unhappy.
And that’s about it for Leadership! Granted, it’s really tough to get all of these things right, especially when they’re not something you think about day in day out. But when you’ve got all 4 pillars working together, you get started on the road to maximising your employee engagement.
At the very least, we hope this blog leaves you something to think on. But if you’re intrigued to know if your managers are managing to manage the right way, give us a shout.
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