The Impact of Supervisor Engagement

There is plenty of existing content written about employee engagement and how it’s critical for any business to operate effectively. But what about manager and supervisor engagement? Their engagement is just as critical and impacts how their employees behave. Their example sets the tone for the entire organization and builds trust – or destroys it. HR Departments can boost supervisor engagement and create a workforce committed to the company’s success.

Supervisor Engagement: More Than Looking Good On Paper

This isn’t just theory. Studies show that engaged managers create more engaged employees. According to one study, managerial engagement is responsible for 70% of the variance in employee engagement. This environment makes employees feel empowered and supported, which makes them more committed to your bottom line. Engagement is incredibly important and can have far reaching implications for your business. More engaged employees are more productive and more likely to stay with your organization rather than go work for a competitor.

Get Leaders Involved in Engagement Efforts

There are a number of leadership techniques that companies can use to build a cadre of engaged managers. A great deal of that process starts from the top. Your firm’s senior leadership must set an example if they want to see greater managerial engagement. Engaged senior executives inspire managers and encourage that culture of engagement throughout the company.

A second strategy is tying engagement to performance objectives. Sometimes encouragement isn’t enough, and tying bonuses and evaluations to engagement goals can provide additional incentive. Engagement can be measured through employee surveys, by the quality of meetings with team members, positive feedback, or other specific metrics your team determines to be relevant for the company.

Recruitment And Retention

Those recruitment and retention studies are clear. One of the most common reasons employees leave a company is not because of pay, or their role, or growth potential. They leave because they work for a difficult boss. Manager and supervisor engagement and effective leadership are some of the most effective ways to keep employees or, if you don’t encourage it, lose them.

Supervisor engagement is critical to attracting the best talent – and in keeping them. That’s especially important in this job market, where companies are fighting an increasingly aggressive war for top workers. A lack of manager engagement can cost your company the trust and performance it needs to remain competitive.

Engaged Supervisors Create A UnionProof Culture

Manager engagement builds trust in subordinates. Employees have confidence that they can come to their supervisor with issues or concerns concerns. Employees need to feel that their managers are engaged and will take their concerns seriously. A lack of trust makes it more likely that employees will engage unions or other outside organizations to address their concerns.

A lack of manager engagement can provide an opening for organizers to begin union authorization card signing or other activity. Building a culture where unions just aren’t needed begins with company leadership. Do executives encourage managers to be engaged and take an interest in team member needs and concerns? Do they lead by example and engage their own managers? A lack of confidence in leadership is the weak link in a company’s armor that unions will exploit.

Finally, remember that your managers and supervisors set the tone for their departments. If they are disengaged or indifferent, employee morale will suffer. One bad manager can do incredible damage that can’t be easily fixed. Recruiting and retaining a great workforce depends your supervisors being committed to the organization and engaging their team members. That commitment, and the example those managers set, can help keep your company union-free.

LaborWise Leadership

About the Author Jennifer Orechwa

With over 25 years in the industry, and now as IRI's Director of Business Development, Jennifer has gained a unique perspective on what it takes to build a culture of engagement. By blending a deep understanding of labor and employee relations with powerful digital marketing knowledge, Jennifer has helped thousands of companies achieve behavioral change at a cultural level.

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