An employee's relationship with their manager and executive team sets the tone for their success within the company. Research from Gallup shows that a mind-boggling 70% of an employee’s motivation is influenced by their manager. So how can managers improve?
It all boils down to a manager's people management skills. These are the skills that positively influence the manager and employee relationship. A manager with poor people management skills can be insidious for a business. It leads to top performers leaving the company after only a short period of time, unsatisfied customers, and unaddressed problems. And that's only the beginning. Unengaged and unproductive workers cost companies millions of dollars every year. Eventually, those workers simply remove themselves from the business and the cycle continues.
These are the top 6 people management skills every superstar manager needs to succeed in their role of fostering a loyal team.
As a manager or leader, your presence at work should be felt. Don't hide away at your desk or shy away in your corner office and only talk to people when you want something done. Get out and build a connection with your staff. Get to know them. Go to staff events and participate. It really is that simple.
We've all worked in offices where the leadership team is rarely seen or heard aside from company-wide meetings. To the employee, they may seem cold or disconnected from day to day operations. There's a reason why people say employees leave managers, not companies. These are the leaders that top performers have no problem leaving because there is zero connection attaching them to the business. Build a strong connection with your staff and it is guaranteed to impact employee retention.
Show empathy towards employees who are facing tough professional or personal issues. Try to see things from their situation. Letting a team member off a couple hours early to pick up a loved one from the hospital, for example, goes a long way towards building empathy. Advocate for your team and stand up for them when things get tough. Showing that you care and will work to improve their situation goes a long way toward building stronger relationships.
3. Two-way communication
Your employees want to stay informed about the business as much as you do, so keep them in the loop. Don't let them hear about big changes at the company all-hands meeting or at the water cooler. It raises issues about transparency in the company that you do not want to have.
It's important to build an environment where everyone's opinion is heard. As much as you may want, don't throw up a suggestion box or install a feedback app on Slack and leave it at that. Those methods are impersonal and give you the option to ignore the comments.
Empowerment means giving your employees the tools they need to succeed and then stepping out of their way. Micromanagement is a top performer's kryptonite. Great managers give their employees the room they need to accomplish goals on their own merit. The right amount of direction is key here. There should be enough to provide guidance but not so much as to create roadblocks in the process.
5. Reward & recognition
It should go without saying that employees like to be rewarded and recognized for their success. Always reward members of your staff for their hard work. This applies to more than only the top performers; make it a point to recognize those who are improving and doing their best.
6. Opportunity & professional development
A willingness to provide opportunities for professional development and growth is attractive to top performers. This is tied to knowing your staff members, their strengths and weaknesses, and recommending ways for them to continually improve. Whether it be an online course, funding for books, or part-time courses, employees should always have access to various avenues of self-improvement.
Employee loyalty is one of the most valuable assets a company has. Loyal employees are your loudest brand ambassadors, and they will often go the extra mile. But remember, loyalty is a two-way street.
Once an employee becomes checked out, they won't go the extra mile, they won't take measures to solve problems, and they will eventually treat your customers the same way they've been treated.
A poor relationship between management and employees hurts everyone. Take time to reevaluate the relationship you have with your employees and center your people management skills around relationship building. A strong relationship with your team members is shown to not only increase productivity but to also be a powerful motivator.