It’s The Manager

It used to be that employee empowerment was all the rage. Now it is employee engagement. With unemployment at an all time low, there is a huge war for talent, finding it and keeping it.

“We are having a problem with employee engagement. One thing we would like to consider is an Employee of the Month program.”

I hate Employee of the month/quarter/year programs. They conspire to make one person a winner and everyone else a loser. Bad idea.

Employee engagement, as an issue, has been around for a while. Gallup, in their extensive research on employee engagement, well documented in a book called First, Break All the Rules, details the number one reason that people leave a company. It’s their manager.

A company can have the greatest benefits, competitive compensation, employee of the month programs, but if the team member has a lousy relationship with their manager, they quit and leave. Or worse, they quit and stay.

A company can have sub-standard benefits, on the low side of competitive compensation, no recognition programs, but if the team member has a great relationship with their manager, they stay.

So, if you want to focus on employee engagement, focus on every managerial relationship in the company. The most powerful managerial practice to create and sustain this relationship is the monthly 1-1, where the manager sits down, present in the moment, and has a dialogue with each team member.

This is dedicated time, each and every month talking about updates, projects, goals, aspirations, obstacles, ways around those obstacles. The focus is on the team member. If you really want to increase employee engagement, schedule 1-1s with each of your team members. You don’t need permission, you don’t need a committee, just start. -Tom

3 thoughts on “It’s The Manager

  1. John Sites

    Having done this on occasion, as a new year’s resolution this is would be a great idea for future consideration. As a NYR that really works, is worth the effort, and will, as outlined in the blog, pay handsome dividends, it is a suggestion that deserves serious consideration. I found that I got really great feedback and the personnel sincerely appreciated the attention and time devoted to their interests.

  2. Marcos Luiz bruno

    These are basic thoughts, so basic that many believe they do it automatically. Holy ignorance. Managers are accountable to form and develop some level of entrepreneurship in their teams. That’s so basic but many are writing books and books to tell the same.

  3. Dr. K.V.S.S. Narayana Rao

    Management Definition – Narayana Rao

    Management of an organization is the process of establishing objectives and goals of the organization periodically, designing the work system and the organization structure, and maintaining an environment in which individuals, working together in groups, accomplish their aims and objectives and goals of the organization effectively and efficiently. (3rd December 2008)

    Implications of the Definition:

    (i) Management is a process.
    (ii) Management applies to every kind of organization, government, profit making, or nonprofit making.
    (iii) It applies to managers at all levels in the organization.
    (iv) Management is concerned with effectiveness and efficiency.


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