Retention, engagement starts with front-line managers


We hear it so many times that as an employee we quit our supervisor and not the company.  I know I have quit my supervisor while I loved the company I was a part of and I talk to managers every day that say the same.  So the real question to ask is “What can we do about this?”  to help our companies to be stronger and our leaders to be more in tune with their teams.  Employee engagement is powerful and delivers that “X” factor that we all look for from our teams but wonder how to maximize.  Active employee engagement is key to developing a culture that customers will notice; employees will love and seek out.

Our frontline managers impact the most employees, and they often have the least amount if any invested in helping them learn to be aware of the circumstances they will face.  Just not knowing what they do not know as leaders is not a real good excuse for their performance and how their team will look at the working situation and company.  You can start by saying that managers need to understand the laws that impact their organizations and there are many.  Beyond the risk of these laws that they are required to keep top of mind these new leaders are also responsible for the employee development side that yields the performance magic for highly successful companies.  It is hard for these managers to develop their teams when they are lacking that similar knowledge and focused attention on their own needs.  It is essential for them to be as effective as possible that they are comfortable around many skills when interacting with their team.

As mentioned, there are many skills that our frontline and mid-managers need, but it all starts with building trust.  Trust is slow to form, and until teams can believe that their managers have their best interest at heart when they make decisions, they will be hesitant to give their all for that manager.  We build trust by connecting on a personal level, learning and communicating one to one with our team and following through on what we say we will do.  To connect we need to understand what makes our team tick, what their skills and strengths are so that we can make sure they have a role where they can perform at their best.  Trust starts the ball rolling, but there is a lot more to learn.  Here are a few of the areas that these managers rarely if ever have had much exposure to:

  • Accountability – Setting clear expectations is critical.
  • Understanding the laws involving the management of people.
  • Coaching great performers to be their best.
  • Handling conflict and dealing with it sooner than later.
  • Generations in the business and understanding their needs and the interactions they require with each other.
  • Critical thinking a skill most HR professionals put in the top 3 needs for managers to have
  • Building collaborations on your teams for higher performance
  • Excellent listening skills and better communication
  • Emotional Intelligence is more important than IQ hands down to be a great manager

The 3-5 generations that are seen in the workplace add an extra level to navigate that will play a part in all of the areas listed above starting with building trust.  Each generation can find excitement or connectivity for different reasons and we the managers have to be able to orchestrate that to the benefit of the whole team, customers and company.  The skills to do all this do not come easy or without development and learning.  We owe it to our managers to give them all the tools they need to be productive and successful no matter what they may face.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: