How to Be a Better Boss to Increase Employee Engagement

How to Be a Better Boss to Increase Employee Engagement
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The Power of Employee Engagement
When we assess organizational culture, we think of employee engagement as the strength of the mental and emotional connection employees feel toward their places of work. This includes most importantly the connection employees feel toward their direct manager. The stronger the positive connection between employees and their boss, co-workers, and the company as a whole, the less likely employees are to leave and the more likely they are to increase their discretionary effort. Be a better boss to increase employee engagement.

In addition to increased retention, employees in healthy corporate cultures who have positive feelings toward their manager are over 40% more productive than their disengaged counterparts.

The Kind of Manager Who Engages Employees
While being a bad boss seems more common than we would all like, being the kind of manager who positively engages employees is not necessarily easy. In fact, one study maintains that only one out of ten managers come by the the traits required to be a good manager naturally. But we know from our people manager assessment center that almost any new manager can become better by strengthening four basic traits. They are the same that nurture every human relationship.

Four Traits for the “Human Side” of Management
To more positively engage your employees, focus on the following simple practices that will enhance your “human side” of management. Work to practice:

  1. Expressing Your Gratitude to Your Employees
    A simple and authentic thank you for work well done can go far toward boosting an employee’s pride in their job and their commitment to strive for improved performance. As long as your gratitude is honest and earned, your workers will feel appreciated and valued at work.
  2. Showing Compassion as a Leader
    When did you last genuinely express concern for an individual employee? Ask how they are doing, what parts of their job are going well and which aspects are challenging, and what would help them succeed?

    If you build a team culture of trust and mutual respect, you will learn a lot about what might help or hinder them in their role. As a manager, you then have the information you need to support their performance and earn their loyalty.
  3. Giving Encouraging Feedback as a Leader
    As you observe your employees in their day-to-day routine, be tuned into how you might offer support in the way of encouraging feedback. To get it right, focus on helping the employee to improve, be very specific, be timely, be straightforward, and focus on behaviors and performance, not personality.

    Remember, study after study finds that over 75% of employees believe that feedback is valuable and incredibly important to their work, but less than 30% actually receive feedback on their work.  The best leaders let their employees know where they stand and help them to perform at their peak.
  4. Cultivating Self-Awareness and Balance
    The better you understand and are vulnerable about your own shortcomings and triggers, the better you can handle stressful relationships and adjust to an appropriate way to handle them. It’s hard to show empathy for your employees if you are clueless about how you are perceived or stressed because your work-life balance is out of whack. Pay attention to your own wellbeing so you can tend to the wellbeing of others in your sphere.

    Top leaders get and act upon 360 feedback to learn about themselves, gain new perspectives, and be more open to changing observed behavior.

The Bottom Line
The best managers are empathetic, appreciative, helpful, and even-tempered. As you work toward this ideal, you will see your employees respond positively and their engagement on the team will increase.

To learn more about how to be a better boss to increase employee engagement, downloadThe Top 10 Most Powerful Ways to Boost Employee Engagement

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