The impact of a manager cannot be understated. There are so many statistics  out there that demonstrate the importance of supervisor feedback, transparency, appreciation and leadership to the employee experience. Recent research  has even shown that mid-career professionals – the group most likely to join in the Great Resignation – stated that frustration with leadership/management was the number one reason why they quit their jobs.
As people leaders look for opportunities to strengthen the way they manage their teams, I recommend focusing on five priorities, inspired by our eBook , to magnify motivation and engagement.
Create a Team Culture That Puts Employees First
#1 – Emphasize Impact
People want to take part in meaningful work, and managers can cultivate an environment where staff make a positive impact. The first place to focus is nurturing autonomy. When managers delegate and empower individuals to take ownership of different initiatives, it increases employees’ sense of agency and their connection to their work.
Keep in mind: delegation does not mean throwing a person into a project that they are totally unprepared for. Identify tasks that align with workers’ existing talents as well as potential stretch assignments to help them develop new skills.
Also, make connections between the work staff are engaging in and its influence on the team or organization. Managers can use the Emergenetics® Thinking Attributes to inspire direct reports to recognize and appreciate their influence. Try making direct statements about how a person’s actions are contributing to overarching objectives, the success of others, improved processes and the future of the company to speak to those preferences.
#2 – Dial Up Empathy
Emotional intelligence (EQ) is essential to produce a people-first team culture. To design a space where personnel are encouraged to be themselves, supervisors need to be receptive to other ways of operating and interacting. People leaders can flex their EQ by expanding their self-awareness and participating in programs like Emergenetics that emphasize the value of different approaches and perspectives.
Another critical element of empathy is listening. Listening helps individuals avoid making assumptions and opens up new ways of thinking and engaging. The practice prioritizes the workforce by giving them a platform to share thoughts, feelings and concerns in a space where they will be heard and considered. For more tips on building EQ, take a look at this blog post !
I invite supervisors to boost their EQ skills by applying personalized approaches to management. Take time to learn how employees prefer to collaborate, communicate, think and behave. Then, analyze opportunities to adjust tactics to better accommodate the interests and needs of staff.
#3 – Promote an Environment of Wellbeing
When workers feel well, they will be better performers, so it’s important to be mindful of burnout. To create an atmosphere where team members feel comfortable advocating for their wellbeing, managers can pave the way by being open about their own needs through actions like setting work-life boundaries as well as taking mental health days. By showing that it’s OK to establish healthy limits, others will feel more empowered to do the same.
I recommend that supervisors connect with their Human Resources teams to get familiar with the health and wellness offerings available at the organization. That way, if employees come to their manager with challenges, people leaders are equipped to share information and encourage direct reports to take advantage of the resources.
At Emergenetics, we value the impact of positive language (or what we call the Language of Grace). When individuals are equipped to reframe their vocabulary in an affirming way, it stimulates greater understanding and motivation. Try making simple shifts to boost positivity, such as replacing words like “can’t” with “haven’t yet.” For specific tips, explore our digital learning course designed to stimulate a culture of positivity .
#4 – Honor Contributions
Supervisors are often most equipped to acknowledge direct reports because they are the most aware of all the things the person is working on. Not only are they in the best position to deliver feedback, manager inputs are also the most significant and memorable . As a people leader, make a point to celebrate employees’ work.
Weave celebrations and acknowledgements into regular practices, one-on-one’s and team meetings. In addition to having managers applaud their direct reports, ask colleagues to share shoutouts about one another to promote an atmosphere that puts workers first.
Be sure to ask individuals how they like to be recognized. Supervisors may find that some team members prefer a one-to-one celebration, while some may like public appreciation. Certain personnel might gravitate toward particular types of rewards over others. By personalizing the approach, managers can create an employee-centric recognition system.
#5 – Plan for Growth
Supervisors can amplify learning through day-to-day practices like providing feedback. In one-on-one meetings, be mindful to coach direct reports and share inputs on areas of success and avenues for improvement. When staff members complete an assignment, encourage self-reflection so that employees can analyze accomplishments and possible adjustments to drive future success.
One-on-one meetings are also great vehicles for regular career conversations. By consistently checking in with individuals to understand their interests, curiosities and the skills they want to build, managers can proactively seek out assignments that will support growth.
Remember: Supervisors do not have to plan for development in isolation. Partner with colleagues in Learning & Development or Human Resources to determine additional learning paths, coursework or projects to bolster skill building and help personnel pursue their interests. Another option is to invite direct reports to research and participate in development programs that spark their curiosity.
People leaders have such an opportunity to amplify performance and motivation within their teams, and they aren’t the only ones. When the entire organization advocates for the workforce, leaders will be amazed to see the impact that has on engagement, retention and the bottom line.
Discover tactics that you can apply company-wide to cultivate an employee-centric culture by exploring our free eBook .
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