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Empowering managers to fuel engagement

Managers shouldn't just deal with issues as they come up - they should carry out strategies to bring the best out of their workforce.

Managers shouldn't just deal with issues as they come up – they should carry out long-term strategies to bring the best out of their workforce. A key component of this task is fostering employee engagement. Polls vary on the degree to which workers are engaged worldwide, but they all point to one general conclusion: There's plenty of room for improvement. By training supervisors and empowering them with the right tools, organizations can strive to be on the better end of the engagement spectrum.

Incorporate engagement into manager training 
According to HR.BLR.com, Todd Patkin, author of "Finding Happiness: One Man's Quest to Beat Depression and Anxiety and – Finally – Let the Sunshine In" made a compelling case for addressing employee engagement while training supervisors to manage teams. 

"All managers should be taught the subtle signs of a disengaged workforce," he said, according to the source. "The fact that a person is in a position of authority doesn't mean that he or she instinctively knows how to engage a team. And at the end of the day, it doesn't matter how much knowledge, experience, and skill a manager has if he or she can't motivate and connect with employees."

He offered several phrases that managers should use more frequently to connect better with their workers:

  • What do you need from me?
  • Thank you.
  • That's okay.

Give supervisors tools to be proactive 
Why don't managers build engagement more frequently? As Patkin acknowledged, it's usually because they're busy with all of their other duties. Therefore, in addition to training employees, companies should empower them with tools to kindle the flames of a motivated, passionate workforce.

Employee reward programs and recognition software can be a great boon to these efforts. Not only do they assist leaders with getting workers more invested in meeting goals and participating in initiatives, they also provide managers excellent metrics about worker performance. With reports and analytics, supervisors can be more in tune with their teams' engagement levels.

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