The role of the manager in employee engagement

11 May

Employee engagement is not only affected by how the organisation as a whole treats and values its staff, but by all the interactions an employee has in the work place. Managers have a significant impact on employee engagement; they play a key role in sustaining it and undoubtedly can also turn it off.

Think about two roles that you have had: one where you loved going to work and performed at your best and one where you didn’t want to go to work, underperformed and frequently looked for another job.

What was it in each case that supported the way you felt about that role? Was it a great manager or a poor manager? Was it the role itself that you felt passionate about and were interested in? What did the organisation do to support staff? Was there anything else in the role that was affecting your performance?

Armed with the answers to these questions, you’ll have a clear view of some of the key requirements for employee engagement.

Below are some more practical tips for ways to support employee engagement and maximise your team’s performance. So that you can decide where to concentrate your energies, take time to consider in which particular areas there is room for improvement within your department or team. There is plenty of more detailed information in several topics.

The following tips are by no means exhaustive. These are just some ideas about what managers can do to engage with their staff as a team. This can be expanded to all your interactions with other staff in the organisation and your customers too.


Talk to your team about what’s happening in the business, about work in the team and, importantly, them as individuals. Get to know your team members and what is important to them; don’t just play lip service to this – they will know if you are faking an interest, so be genuine!

Remember they are all unique, just as you are, so they might not like the same things, feel the same way or want the same things! Failures in communication can often arise because it’s too easy to assume that everyone else thinks as we do.

Hear them – listen to what they say, seek their thoughts and don’t just dismiss their views, opinions and ideas. 

Make time for your team – ensure you are available to members of your team when they need you and help them to find their way around the organisation.

Have fun!

This might sound odd, but having fun at work breeds excitement and energy and these are some of the key signals of engaged employees. Imagine an excited employee talking to a customer versus a disheartened employee talking to one – which customer do you think would come back again?


An important part of your responsibility as a manager is to take an interest in developing the individuals in your team, making sure they feel valued, they have the opportunity to hone their existing skills, acquire new ones and generally feel a sense of purpose.

  • Actively support them in their development, seek opportunities and ways to help them grow and reach their goals. If you don’t know what their goals are, find out!
  • Empower them to make decisions and take ownership of projects
  • Trust them to do the job and to come to you if they need to
  • Ensure they have everything they need to do the job and do it to the best of their ability
  • Be flexible, open to new ideas and ways of working

Post courtesy of People Alchemy – for access to a the Alchemy for Managers online resource visit


Tags: , , , , , ,

One response to “The role of the manager in employee engagement

  1. Vonda Meisenburg

    March 5, 2013 at 6:27 pm

    This is such a brilliant post on engagement. I do agree that it is the toughest thing to do for a manager.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: