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Can Your Managers Manage?

How often do you hear from your people-leaders that they just don't have the time for employee engagement efforts? Do you sometimes get eye rolls when you launch new people operations processes and initiatives because it becomes just one more thing to add to the list?

That’s a problem. The majority of the job of a manager should be to guide employees and remove obstacles so that the goals of their teams can be reached in a timely and quality manner. Research shows that 75% of workers who voluntarily left their jobs did so because of their bosses and not the position itself.

According to Gallup in an article called, “Why Great Managers Are So Rare “only 30% of employees are engaged at work and a staggeringly low 13% worldwide are engaged. Worse, over the past 12 years, these numbers have barely budged, meaning the vast majority of employees worldwide and failing to develop and contribute at work.”

What do you look for to make sure your managers effective at managing?

Capacity check. You have to ensure that when a manager becomes responsible for a team of people, that is the number one priority of the job. Of course, other factors will come in to play. Great managers can oversee projects, budgets and strategy and priorities are bound to shift- but none of that will matter if the employees taking you to the finish line aren’t engaged in their work.

Managers should be checking in with employees daily, weekly, and monthly in different capacities. If the only time a manager gets an hour with an employee is the yearly performance review, you need to increase capacity.

Motivation intelligence. We know about IQ and EQ, but what about MQ? Joe Gianni, President and CEO of 2logical defines it simply enough in a LinkedIn blog titled, “What is Motivational Intelligence?” It is “the art of knowing what causes people to act and/or react a certain way to life’s situations and experiences.” You may have heard of a growth vs. fixed mindset before, but do you know how each of your employees arrives at those mindsets and how to shift them?

Focus on expectations and accountability and then ensure that managers are empowered to remove obstacles and have the skills to empower their teams.

They have the innate talent to be a manager. Not everyone is able to balance all of the things that are necessary to be a great manager. They need to drive results through accountability and strategic decision making, while also fostering environments of trust and transparency. There are other ways to reward talented employees than promoting them to manager status if they don’t have the innate talent to react and behave in a way that leads a team to perform their best.

The same article by Gallup puts it up this way, “when companies can increase their number of talented managers and double the rate of engaged employees, they achieve, on average, 147% higher earnings per share than their competition.”

Can't really sum it up better than that!

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