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Engaged managers are three times as likely to have engaged employees a new report reveals, but as a manager how can you engage?

Author: Anne-Maria Brown

Posted on: February 2016

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A new report reveals managers who are engaged with their employees and the workplace environment are three times more likely to have engaged employees. With high employee engagement adding an average 19% income to a business, and low levels of engagement costing an average 33% hit to income, engaging employees as a manager could be the key to boosting your team’s performance in a way that pays real dividends.

The report from Leeman’s, a company who have questioned over 100,000 people about their workplace experience, also reveals nearly half of all employees are disengaged, costing the UK economy a shocking £30 billion a year.
 
What can you do as a manager to promote staff engagement?

As a manager, promoting a high level of engagement between staff, their work and company objectives is not always straight forward, so we’ve put together our top tips for keeping your employees invested.
 
1.    Keep an open line of regular, informal communication
 
Speaking to your staff outside of meetings is important, whether it means getting your tea from the same kitchen or routine away days. The opportunity to speak with managers outside of formal meetings engages employees in a more natural way and gives them a voice with senior employees that can’t be achieved during more work focused moments. A new IPA report has found that, ‘more voice at work leads to more economic freedom, less inequality and more productivity’, proving informal communication isn’t something which should be dismissed lightly.
 
2.    Recognise the impact of workspace

Creating more than one type of space encourages greater engagement and promotes productivity. A simple change of environment type, or having the option of the right workspace for the task at hand, can stimulate focus, improve employee wellbeing and prevents routine from becoming a negative influence on thinking. Making a space employees want to work in is key. Ask yourself if your work environment promotes pro-action and company values. For a quick boosts, putting up artwork, making the most of natural light and bringing the energy of the outside in with plants make a big impact. Don’t forget many employees won’t feel comfortable voicing dissatisfaction with their environment because they risk looking petty, so take the lead and create an office space that works for you and your team.
 
3.    Support the professional development of individuals
 
Opening up avenues of support for employees to direct their own professional development, even if not completely in line with their job role, keeps them engaged with the company and its ambitions. You may think it’s counter intuitive to let someone develop transferable skills outside of their value to the company, but research shows it contributes to staff loyalty and performance. They might even pick up some skills you didn’t even know were useful to the business in the process.
 
4.    Remember change is good
 
When exploring the barriers employers struggle with in developing their teams, a World Economic Forum report identified insufficient understanding of change as the biggest thing holding businesses back. Workplace culture changes over time, and keeping employees engaged includes responding to the changes in their daily lives and their expectations for employment. One example of this is the cultural shift towards more flexible work routines, which has changed the workforce landscape in recent years, and continues to make and impact. Never forget, the role of a manager is as much to facilitate change for its employees as implementing routine.
 

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