That oft-quoted truism was proven once again in the Economist Intelligence Unit/HayGroup 2010 study on employee engagement we’ve been looking at this week. Another key conclusion:
“Middle managers are not deemed responsible for employee engagement. The low proportion (13%) of C-suite executives who believe that line managers and middle managers are ‘chiefly responsible’ for staff engagement is unlikely to boost the people-management skills of such managers. If they are not considered responsible no matter how good or bad they are, why should they try? The potential negative repercussions could be significant, since around two in five of those not in the C-suite believe the ‘motivational ability of one’s line manager’ (the most selected survey option) to be a considerable contributor to employee motivation.”
Yes, executives are responsible for setting the vision and goals for employee engagement, but managers are responsible for executing that vision. As I wrote about last month, “managers act as coaches to facilitate their team members’ engagement journeys.”
Until executives are willing to admit that managers – and their daily actions that have repercussions on their staff engagement levels – are the linchpin in engagement (and they certainly don’t seem to now), many managers won’t feel compelled to step up.
That’s why we encourage defined KPIs for managers for employee recognition activity – a proven means of increasing employee engagement by double digits.
How do you ensure managers understand their responsibilities for the engagement of those who work for them?
Links to all posts on Economist Intelligence Unit/HayGroup study:
Part 1: C-Suite Blind to Reality of Employee Engagement
Part 2: The Board Must Care about Employee Engagement for Improvement to Be Seen