Of course, this is playing into the ‘Great Resignation’, which, despite a recession looming (and actually underway in the UK), is going nowhere.
Thankfully, there is a simple solution – better line managers. Research involving 50,000 employees by Inpulse found that managers and teams play a huge role in individuals’ experience at work, and how they feel about their jobs.
But this involves a line managers’ role changing from transactions – aka approving holiday, distributing work and giving feedback – to one around empowering teams and role-modelling the right behaviors.
Ultimately, “in the best-managed teams, what we see on the surface – the skills which are more measurable and visible day-to-day – are underpinned by a supportive culture where people can bring their best selves to work and take ownership of their work and development and feel encouraged to do so”, noted Inpulse’s report.
How to be a great manager
Inpulse has identified nine elements that make great line managers.
These include listening to ideas and opinions, giving regular feedback, treating employees with respect and regularly checking in.
But, as the graph shows, the two that have the great impact on employee engagement are trusting workers to do their jobs (do not micromanage), and supporting them in their roles.
The research shows that 80% of the 50,000 employees surveyed felt supported in their roles, and those who felt supported were 3.4 times more engaged.
When it comes to trust, 81% of those who felt trusted by their manager felt engaged, compared to 28% of those without a trusting manager.
Of course, it is tricky to balance trust and being supportive – not being overbearing is crucial. Juggling the two requires high levels of emotional intelligence, plus leadership support and investment to enable managers to build these human skills.
Inpulse CEO and founder Matt Stephens tells UNLEASH: “Whilst most line managers’ coaching and skills improvement focuses on them being better listeners, giving better feedback and improving their communication skills, in reality these training and coaching budgets are focused on the wrong areas.
“Organizations need to help managers learn how to build trust and balance the twin pillars of support and empowerment – two sides of the same coin – which mostly requires an organization to define exactly what each of those mean.
“This creates clear expectations that can be measured, tracked and improved. If organizations can help managers improve these skills, employee engagement will go through the roof.”
The International Festival of HR is back! Discover amazing speakers at UNLEASH America on 26-27 April 2023.
Sign up to the UNLEASH Newsletter
Get the Editor’s picks of the week delivered straight to your inbox!