You better watch out, you better not cry
Better not pout, I’m telling you why
Santa Claus is comin’ to town
He’s making a list and checking it twice
Gonna find out who’s naughty and nice
Santa Claus is comin’ to town

(Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town, Lonestar)

Children around the world are told all year round that if they misbehave, On Christmas day Santa will skip the candies and give them charcoal instead.When companies carry out their annual employee engagement surveys, some managers too get their lumps of charcoal. Surveys and studies comes back with the clear message that ‘People leave managers, not companies

Is it really that difficult for managers to engage with their team members? The answer is both Yes and No.

There is no denying that in a fast paced competitive world, it is easy to drop the ball on team engagement once in a while. A delayed project here, a slipped deadline there, unexpected budget cuts, stretch targets – the list is unending. There are just so many things vying for a person’s attention and pulling one in different directions all through the day. So yes, it can be difficult to be sensitive to everything that is happening with one’s team members all the time.

The unfortunate reality is that many employees around the globe are living for the weekend. They slog through their duties Monday to Friday, without much enthusiasm, perhaps because they are burned out or feel unappreciated, or maybe because they don’t feel particularly inspired by management to step up their game.

But recognition doesn’t really have to be a challenge or a complicated endeavour. To put the goal in perspective, let us take a step back and see what the objective is. Companies want their employees to be better engaged – because its good for business! Managers want their team members to be engaged – because disengaged employees create a toxic workplace which in turn has negative impact on business performance!

An engaged employee is someone who cares not only about their own personal success, but also attaches high value to the progress of the organization as a whole.

It’s important for employers to provide a workplace environment that supports workers and builds a sense of community among colleagues, from entry level all the way up to upper management where possible. This community environment will lead to higher employee satisfaction and boost overall productivity.

Here are three habits great managers incorporate into their work routine to engage their teams better:

Clear and consistent communication


Employees want to know how they are doing. They want to be recognized and appreciated when they do a good job, and conversely, informed when something needs to change, hopefully before it becomes a bigger issue than it needs to be. Meetings are important. Employees who meet with their managers are three times as likely to be engaged in the workplace. This is because they have a clear idea of what they contribute to the organization, how they can progress and because they feel supported in their role by a manager who makes time to check-in with them.

Related Post: 3 Strategic Axes of Employee Engagement that Leaders must focus on

Holistic performance reviews


Performance reviews do not need to be done in an intimidating once-every-six-months fashion. They can be approached more holistically by having clear progression goals and open communication about performance throughout the year. Employees should always know where they stand, and have a clear idea of the path they can follow for promotion and continued success. The more feedback workers receive, including constructive criticism when necessary, the more supported they will feel in their role.

Related Post: Annual Performance Reviews – All Noise, No Signal

Rewards and appreciation 


Simple gestures go a long way here. Throw office parties on birthdays or holidays. Buy everyone bagels and coffee as a surprise one morning to thank them for their hard work. Offer rewards such as gift cards to employees who meet certain goals throughout the month. Recognizing workers for their hard work is imperative and the benefit of a happy staff will far outweigh the minimal associated costs.

Related Post: 10 Ways to Truly Appreciate Your Employees

Managers who communicate their expectations clearly and show appreciation to their staff, will in turn be more appreciated than those who remain distant and unapproachable. When employees have a positive relationship with their boss, and therefore are engaged with the mission of the company, they will perform better, and have a better attitude Monday to Friday.

In addition to the positive business outcomes, it also ensures that next time Santa comes around, he will be getting you candies and not charcoal.

Acknowledgements and references: 

Lead Image courtesy freeimages.com



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