successful managers

This is How Successful Managers Are Keeping Their Employees Happy

If put on the spot, I bet anyone could name a manager who inspired or encouraged them. Would your team recognize you as one of their most successful managers?

Successful managers motivate employees while also creating a stable, enjoyable working environment. With managers increasingly considering employee engagement, why is the number of engaged employees still so low?

If you’re among the companies with falling employee engagement, here are some practices successful managers follow to engage employees that you might add to your management strategy:

Get to Know Your Team

Building a productive team means knowing what makes each person work at their highest level. Not every employee needs the same amount of attention or the same tools to help them hit their individual goals. Treating everyone as a whole, rather than separate entities with individual strengths and weaknesses, will leave you with a group of disengaged, unproductive employees.

Find ways to get to know your team and determine specific needs. Conduct surveys to find out what’s working and what improvements they want. Ask what you’re already doing well, and what you personally could do better to motivate them. What tools do they need? What training could they benefit from?

Don’t run a quick Google search and pick a generic employee survey. Create something unique to your culture, benefits and management style.

Surveys are crucial to understanding what your team expects from you, but there’s nothing like a one-on-one meeting to really understand every employee. Take time to meet with each person to understand them both as an employee and an individual.

Find a casual and neutral place in the building to ease any tension that typically comes with meetings. This will give employees a chance to relax, open up and let you know what makes them tick.

Open the Communication Connection

If communication is lacking, it’s impossible to understand employees on a personal and professional level and be someone they can open up to. Good communication is never a one way street. Employees whose managers are engaged, transparent and approachable are also notably more engaged.

Being present in the workplace and having an open door policy allows employees to trust the leadership. When your team feels comfortable coming into your office to speak about questions or concerns, you’re better able to help them succeed. Leaders who encourage their employees to approach them any time, gain invaluable insight into what their team needs to truly be a well-oiled machine.

The door should always swing both ways. Employees need to understand their managers to fully trust them as leaders. It’s safe to assume the majority of managers are not ill-intentioned, but rather misunderstood. Help your team see how you operate, why you manage as you do, and what you need from them to be a successful leader.

Give and Receive Timely Feedback

Pick up your annual performance review, walk over to the trash can and drop it. Now is the time to stop wasting your and your employees’ energy on these outdated reports. Think a month or two back. What did each person on the team do well? Where do they need improvement? It’s difficult to give a detailed evaluation even a month later, so think about how hard this information will be to accurately recall a year from now and how irrelevant it may be at that time.

Start hosting regularly scheduled performance meetings with your employees. Have a detailed discussion with each person at least once a month to refresh goals and expectations. Give positive feedback, but don’t forget about the impact of constructive comments as well.

Your team wants to do well, but actionable improvement is nearly impossible if they don’t see where they’ve gone wrong. Once these positives and negatives are addressed, write down mutually attainable goals to hit before the next meeting.

Not so fast, performance evaluations don’t end there. If you want to be a successful leader, you need to hear feedback from your team, too. Ask employees for opinions on how you’re doing as a manager. Constantly be on the lookout for cues on how to grow your skills and engagement to help push them to new heights.

Show Constant Appreciation

A strengths-based environment helps employees learn their roles more quickly, produce more and better work, stay with their company longer and be more engaged. We all respond best to encouragement.

Show your appreciation for employees through recognition programs. We can’t all fork up the dough for a five-day cruise to Bermuda, but there are less expensive ways to show the love. Take a break from the routine with a spontaneous office party, put favorite brands of coffee and donuts in the break room, or circulate a weekly email highlighting this week’s top accomplishments.

Successful managers aren’t walking through the halls monitoring the sounds of clicking keyboards, sending a mass email of updated sales goals, or opening their doors once a week to answer questions. They’re on the front line, having open and honest discussions with their employees, and showing their appreciation every day.

What qualities do you think make a successful manager?

Greg Harris

Greg Harris is the president and CEO of Quantum Workplace, a company dedicated to providing every organization with quality engagement tools that guide their next step in making work better every day. You can connect with Greg and the Quantum Workplace team on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.

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