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The secret to employee engagement: skilled managers

March 23, 2016 Susan Dumas

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This blog is about recent research on the importance of managers for your organisation. We focus on helping clients to solve business challenges through modern learning technologies and digital learning content. We keep up-to-date with the latest research, trends and insights into the typical business challenges that affect our clients. In particular, employee engagement seems to keep coming back into the spotlight.

Understanding the impact of employee engagement

What is an engaged employee and why should you care? An engaged employee is one that is fully committed and enthusiastic about their job. They care about their impact on the organisation and they are totally aligned to the mission of the organisation. Engaged employees are in the right roles to fit their talents, they understand the scope of their role and they are always innovating to meet the demands of their role.

The good news is that engaged employees are more likely to perform better and their generally positive attitude is contagious. But the reverse is also true - less than engaged employees can have a very negative impact on your organisation. There are many factors that impact on whether your employees are engaged or not. The best place to start understanding employee engagement is to look at the work of Gallup.

 

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The Gallup Q12 survey

Gallup, Inc. is an American research-based, global performance-management consulting company. It became known for its public opinion polls conducted worldwide. One of its polls - the Gallup Q12 survey covering employee engagement has been taken by more than 25 million employees world-wide. The Gallup Q12 survey asks 12 questions of employees - here are a few to give you an idea of the areas the poll covers:

  1. Do you know what is expected of you at work?
  2. Do you have the materials and equipment to do your work right?
  3. At work, do you have the opportunity to do what you do best every day?

 

Looking at Gallup employee engagement research, it has not really improved much in the past few years. The most recent Gallup employee engagement poll (2017) puts worldwide employee engagement at 15% on average. In addition, a Gallup research report says that managers drive engagement, not organisations or HR.

 

Everyday, in every moment, managers account for 70% variation in employee engagement

 

That means the people you recruit as managers are vital to the success of your business! However, we see many examples, especially in the IT sector where staff win promotion to managerial roles because of their technical experience, rather than their managerial skill. On top of that, managers often receive little training or development support.

So what if we really focused on recruiting great people to work as managers, and helped to support their development in a more modern and focused way? Percipio, our new intelligent learning platform provides a personalised learning pathway for many job roles, including managers - it is worth a look.

 

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What do people want great managers to do?

We've pulled together consolidated research on employee engagement, what people want and what great managers do. People want someone who talks about their progress, encourages their development, helps them with opportunities for development - and much more. Does your organisation have these types of managers? Many organisations don't and it is a common saying - people leave managers, not companies. Most organisations promote people to the managerial role based on their technical competence, not their ability to manage people. The power your managers have to make a difference to employees everyday is phenomenal - as the research here shows.

 

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