As 2018 winds to an end have you thought about how you might improve your organization’s performance in the coming year?

In today’s hyper-competitive workplace, managers are continually searching for ways to increase the performance of their companies. If this sounds like you – if you think your company needs to ‘up its game’, then this article is for you. Although there are many ways that claim to be effective in improving an organization’s performance, there is a large amount of evidence indicating that increasing the level of employee engagement works and should certainly be considered.

But who is responsible for establishing a high level of employee engagement and how? According to Gallup (“Managers account for at least 70% of the variance in Employee Engagement scores across business units.” So, it would seem that creating and maintaining a state of employee engagement is, indeed, up to the manager.

Given that this is the case, what is the manager’s role here?

A manager can take many steps to improve employee engagement. One of the more important strategies is to listen and demonstrate. Listen to the employees’ needs and point of view and manage differently, by demonstrating through their daily actions that managing is based on the understanding that excellent performance is emotionally driven. The state conducive to great performance has been described as “An emotional state where employees feel passionate, energetic, and committed to their work. This translates into employees who give their hearts, spirits, minds, and hands to deliver a high level of performance to the organization.” (

Most importantly, this new way of managing seeks to build stronger relationships with employees through people centered leadership skills that focus on both work deliverables and the employee’s emotional needs – to belong, develop, and find meaning in the work. This can largely be done through open and transparent conversations accompanied by appropriate actions that demonstrate concern for the employee by helping address the employee’s needs. Through such conversations, responsibilities, expectations and priorities are identified and clarified. These conversations can help align the efforts of the employees with their department and those of the total organization. This alignment can begin with a detailed description of the organization’s overall initiatives and department’s goals, noting how they fit together. Managers also need to assist their employees in carefully thinking through the various steps involved in delivering the planned results to determine not only what will be needed to help ensure success BUT what could go wrong.  As relationships are strengthened, managers can help employees connect with the organization’s direction, purpose and values and this connection elicits stronger motivation and commitment which translate into strong performance.  Such discussions will go a long way towards helping employees feel they truly ‘belong’ in this organization, that they have found their ‘place’ where they can thrive and give their best effort to their job.

In order to ‘light a fire’ within their employees, managers need to help members of their team see (and feel) that they have a future with the organization. Genuine and visible support for an employee’s future in an organization involves assisting them to identify opportunities and resources for achieving their developmental goals. This includes ways to make the current job rewarding, or if desired, movement into other functions. These future plans can be documented in an individual’s development plan.

To maintain (and even improve) the positive, upbeat tone that such interactions create, the manager needs to ‘keep the ball rolling’ by holding regular, frequent meetings with staff to revisit issues they have been discussing and to keep an active focus on the employee’s development.

Why should managers change their management style? What’s the pay-off?Here are some results to ponder.

Hay Group concluded that engaged employees generate 43% more revenue than disengaged ones. 
Hay Group, ‘Engage Employees to Boost Performance’, 2001

70% of engaged employees indicate they have a good understanding of how to meet customer needs; only 17% of non-engaged employees say the same. 
Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development

Would you like to get these type of results? If so, please call us, we can help, it’s what we do.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Best regards,