Anyone who has ever had a job knows the difference between a great manager and an OK manager—and the difference often comes in their ability to engage employees.
Despite worries of a looming recession and the hiring slowdowns and layoffs that often accompany a downturn, the labor market remains strong. It's still critical for managers and organizations to engage employees and create a workforce that's both productive and loyal.
Workforce survey results from The Conference Board reveal nearly a third of workers report decreased engagement—the commitment and connection that they feel to their work. Having caring, empathetic leaders has grown in importance, especially for women and Millennials.
Here are four things great managers do to engage their employees.
1. Great managers foster a culture that celebrates career development and let their employees learn new skills during working hours.
Taking the initiative to learn something new requires dedication, discipline, and tenacity—three skills that any dedicated manager would want a person on their team to possess. Employee learning and development also helps diversify the workforce, allowing managers to build up employees with skills that will be in-demand in the future.
Employees desire the ability to develop professionally while on the job, and will seek out employers who give them that opportunity. In fact, Glint’s latest Employee Well Being Report shows that having opportunities to learn and grow is now the leading factor that people say defines an exceptional work environment.
2. Great managers let their employees own proof of their learning.
Both technical skills and emotional skills are relevant in the workplace, and having a digital credential to prove those skills is a benefit not only for the employee learning something new but for the organization encouraging that learning.
Digital credentials allow employers to have insight into the skills their workforce has. Those credentials belong to whoever earns them, empowering employees to create their own skills path. Issuing digital credentials also contributes to a strong recognition culture, and according to Gallup, when recognition hits the mark, employees are five times as likely to be connected to company culture and four times as likely to be engaged.
3. Great managers encourage feedback from their employees.
Business is not just a transaction between customers and vendors; it’s also between employees and employers. Encouraging employees to communicate their needs to managers in a safe place is a valuable way to engage employees, as well as an effective way to retain them. Constructive feedback that allows employees to grow and develop their skills is a win-win for both parties.
4. Great managers provide personalized career growth paths for each employee.
Upskilling and reskilling opportunities are critical to enhancing employee productivity and engagement, but the key is takin a strategic approach to the learning that’s provided.
By using people analytics and taking an intentional, data-based approach, you can gain insight into your current talent pool, analyze where skills gaps exist, and strategically deploy training in order to fill those gaps and future-proof the business. The right workforce analytics tool will allow managers to see the skills and capabilities each of their team members brings to the table, and suggest targeting training to help them grow and develop.
Mapping individual learning paths based on verified skills not only keeps your training efficient, it also signals to your employees you’re invested in their growth.
Drive Employee Engagement and Unlock Your Organization’s Possibilities
Great managers understand that happy, engaged employees create a virtuous cycle within the workplace. Engaged employees are more productive, stay with your organization longer, and contribute to a wider culture of commitment.
Our Workforce solutions allow your managers and organization to gain insights into the skills your employees have to surface internal opportunities for talent and uncover gap areas that you can focus on with L&D initiatives—positively contributing to engagement and overall performance.