As discussed in our recent blog articles, managers can have significant positive influence on many workforce challenges (see the article: Are Workforce Challenges Hurting Your Business Profits?) in addition to the commonly acknowledged impact managers have on employee engagement. The manager ‘s behavior can have a positive or negative impact on employees.  In today’s blog, we will look at some examples of the influence managers have.

  1. Turnover and absenteeism: A positive relationship between the manager and the employee will often contribute to the employee’s decision to stay. Conversely, if a manager is mismanaging (for example, by soliciting employee ideas and not providing feedback as to why an idea could not go forward), this will likely influence the employee’s decision to seek other career opportunities (or, possibly worse, leave emotionally while staying with the organization).. We have all heard the phrase, “Employees leave managers not organizations.”
  2. Low discretionary effort/motivation:  Managers can have a significant influence over motivation levels by the way they lead and communicate. They influence the private decision employees make to go above and beyond expectations provide – provide discretionary efforts and raise performance levels – or not. See the articleHow Extraordinary Leaders Motivate
  3. Poor teamwork and collaboration: The manager can take several steps to build morale and teamwork: including team celebrations when goals have been achieved, asking people’s opinions and thoughts on how to solve problems, encouraging interaction and collaboration between employees, etc.
  4. Poor work quality/high error/scrap rate: The manager can help employees improve their work quality by bringing clarity to work responsibilities and better understanding of goals. Improved work quality helps reduce costs and increases customer satisfaction.  Collecting data on the benefits of “working smart” and sharing this data with employees provides feedback to the employees and the chance of seeing similar strong performance in the future increases.
  5. Lack of ideas, efficiency and innovation: The manager can play a key role in encouraging and cultivating employee suggestions; suggestions that can bring costs savings or innovation ideas. If the manager is receptive to suggestions and always considers them, more suggestions are likely be forthcoming. If employees’ contribution is valued, they have a greater sense of ownership in the business.

These are just a few of many ways managers can play an important role in addressing workplace challenges and improving company success and profits.  In our next blog we will look at other ways managers impact performance that were mentioned in our previous blog.

Managers can use various people skills to nurture the desired attitudes and behaviors conducive to excellent performance. This includes recognition, making work meaningful,  building strong relationships centered on open communication and more.

We’ll end with a few questions for you to consider:

  • Are your managers aware of their very important role, for better or worse?
  • How are you supporting your managers in managing for high performance?

If your managers need help with any of these issues, contact us. Helping managers and their employees succeed is what we do.

The Manager’s Influence on Workplace Challenges (Part Two)