It’s often said that employees are the backbone of organizations. But those with the biggest impact on the employee’s experience act as the heart of the company—your managers.
But managers today are struggling. Because of this, leaders must reevaluate what their managers need to adequately support their people. Below, we’ve gathered three tips for increasing your managers’ effectiveness and questions to help you diagnose the overall health of your organization.
While managers influence at least 70% of your employees’ engagement, most aren’t given the right training or structure to properly coach their teams. The reality is that most people are promoted to manager-level positions through their stellar technical skills, not because of how well they’re able to connect with and lead people.
Soft skills, such as emotional intelligence, empathy, and compassion, are becoming power skills that managers must master in order to help their organization succeed. When these so-called soft skills are paired with strategic day-to-day practices it creates a powerful structure and an effective method of management.
Creating the space and offering the right resources for people to discover their natural talents allows those at the top to help develop leadership strengths on every level. But companies often fall short of actually utilizing these abilities because they aren’t taking the time to discern the true talents of their employees.
When managers seek out the unique strengths of their employees and foster an environment that builds on those attributes, businesses can remain agile even through challenging times. Plus, giving employees the opportunity to gain mastery in specific skills and the space to perform at their peak helps them become more intrinsically motivated to do their best work.
Organizational systems are designed at the top, but it’s managers who reinforce these systems by guiding individual employees to success. And because 65% of managers today are struggling to perform, they’re feeling less prepared and more challenged than ever before, according to 15Five’s 2020 Workplace report.
Help your managers better support their teams by giving them the right tools and practices to do so. These structures, such as 1-on-1s, check-ins, and objective tracking, help set your managers and their employees up for short- and long-term success.
If you’re looking to improve organizational health, it’s important to understand where it stands today. Here are several questions you can answer to help pinpoint the areas of your company that need more attention so you can find the best possible solution.
• Is there a clear mission that every employee is helping push forward? Giving managers the tools to align their employee’s goals to the company’s mission can boost engagement and performance in significant ways.
• Are organizational priorities clear and transparent? Without this, managers and employees will work towards a path they can only assume is correct.
• Does your company culture foster collaboration or do teams often work in silos? When collaborative work environments aren’t intentionally created, most people will default to working in silos—which can be a massive productivity suck.
• Is your workforce distributed? If so, which software or apps are they using to help strengthen their connections? Isolation doesn’t occur just because people work remotely, it happens when teams aren’t given the resources they need or encouraged to maintain their connection despite their geographic distance.
• Do you know if your people feel safe to speak up or ask questions? 15Five’s Chief Culture Officer and cofounder Shane Metcalf said it best, “If you don’t believe that someone has your best interest at heart, you don’t trust them. Period.” And when trust isn’t present, people can’t bring their best selves to work.
Effective managers positively influence organizational health and impact all areas of an employee’s experience, including engagement, growth and development, and productivity. And with the right structures to support your people, good managers can be provided with the conditions to become great.
Baili Bigham is the Content Manager at 15Five, continuous performance management software that includes weekly check-ins, OKR tracking, peer recognition, 1-on-1s, and 360° reviews. When Baili isn’t writing, you can find her binge-reading a new book or strategizing ways to pet every dog in San Francisco.