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What great managers do to foster engagement in their teams

6th September 2017

Team Engagement

Great managers release the energy and potential of people. They do this by:

  • Selecting for talent
  • Defining the right outcomes
  • Focusing on strengths
  • When developing someone, helping them find the right fit for their future

It sounds really simple and yet most organisation don’t have great engagement results.

Gallup conducted some brilliant research 20 years ago around what it takes to engage employees and I think it stands true today. Here is a summary of what they found:

The Hierarchy of Engagement

From joining an organisation to being fully engaged is a journey, and the research identified there is a sequence that each employee goes through.

Base camp: What do I get?

When you first start a new role, your needs are about what is expected of you. How much you will earn, whether you’ll have an office etc. It’s about having the tools to do your job effectively.

Camp 1: What do I give?

As you progress your perspective changes and you start asking different questions. You want to know how you are doing and your individual contribution, so feedback is key.

Camp 2: Do I belong here?

As you progress further so does your perspective and this is when you start to ask questions around whether you belong. Is everyone else driven the same as you are?

Camp 3: How can we all grow?

When you get to this stage, you are impatient for everyone to improve, you want to make things better, to learn, to grow and innovate. All the other questions have to be satisfied before you get to this stage.

What do great managers do?

Great managers take aim at base camp and camp 1 and nurture people to give of their best and play to their strengths. They make it a daily/weekly event by:

  • Connecting with each employee
  • Focusing on outcomes
  • Looking to the future to get the best out of their employees.

If someone isn’t performing they identify the gap, provide the support and if that doesn’t work find a job that is right for them.

They know that the core of a strong and vibrant workforce is engagement.

If this has whet your appetite you can find out more in the book First break all the rules.

“Only three things happen naturally in organizations: friction, confusion and underperformance. Everything else requires leadership.”

Peter Drucker





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