Driving Employee Engagement

As we work through the top drivers of employee engagement, one phrase comes to mind, “Employees do not quit companies, they quit supervisors.” The supervisor-employee relationship is incredibly important. People want to know if their boss has their back. Beyond that, people like to know that their boss cares about them, supports their career and appreciates their contributions.

Managers vs Leaders

People are normally trained to be managers, but it is rare for them to be trained to be leaders. There is quite a difference between the two:

Managers Leaders
Directs people Inspires people
Focus on doing things right Focus on doing the right things
Exerts power and control Exerts influence and persuasion
Wants predictability and stability Wants transformation and change
Creates followers Creates other leaders
Provides instruction Provides vision
Focuses on things Focuses on people
Focused on building a department Focused on building a team
Put on their game-face at work Come across as authentic

Studies show that people can be trained to be leaders – unfortunately organizations often move people into leadership positions with a minimal amount of preparation. And when organizations do have time to prepare people for new leadership positions, they often focus on the technical requirements of the job, rather than the leadership requirements of the job. Even in many MBA programs, the focus is on the technical aspects of organizations, such as finance, the strategic planning process and the regulatory aspects of human resources.

Managing People and Leading Teams

While the technical aspects of any job are important, in my experience most supervisors say the most challenging aspects of their job is managing people and leading teams. We provide on-line training for supervisors to help them hone their interpersonal skills and think about how they show up as a leader. We also have easy-to-use tools to help leaders engage their employees, such as recognition programs and automated emails alerting supervisors of important employee milestone dates such as birthdays and work anniversaries. For deeper learning, we also offer leadership training courses in a cohort setting and executive coaching programs to help leaders become more prolific and authentic.

Organizations who want to improve the work environment will help develop future and existing leaders since the supervisor-employee relationship is one of the most important factors in creating a culture of engagement.


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