Written by Keith Ayers.

Intégro’s research into employee passion shows that more than 50% of employees do not feel that their contribution to the organisation is valued.

These employees are emotionally disconnected from the organisation, which means they are more likely to leave if another opportunity comes along, and they are less likely to put in any discretionary effort to delight your customers or go the ‘extra mile’.

What is the Manager’s Role in this Disconnect?

My experience is that many managers do not know how to have meaningful one-on-one conversations with their direct reports – conversations that end with the employee feeling uplifted, energised and committed to improving their performance.

How many of your manager – direct report meetings finish this way, compared to those that finish with the employee feeling diminished, not valued and resentful?

It all comes down to your manager’s ability to prepare for and deliver a meaningful conversation that results in an engaged, committed employee who will deliver superior results.

What Can Managers Do?

So how can a manager ensure their direct reports leave every meeting feeling valued and respected? There are three skills that managers need to use to get the best out of every member of their team:

  1. Motivation – creating a work environment where all team members are motivated to do their best every day.
  2. Delegation – encouraging team members to take on additional tasks and responsibilities, willingly.
  3. Developing Others – identifying and developing the unique talents of each team member.

Let’s look at these skills a little more closely:

1. Motivation: to be skilful at motivating others it is important to understand that motivation comes from within. You can’t actually motivate someone to do something they don’t want to do. However, you can create an environment where people are motivated to do what you want them to do. The key is to understand what their needs are and ensure their needs are being satisfied as well.

The other thing that trips up many managers is that they don’t realise that their team member’s motivational needs are not the same as their own. I worked with a Sales Manager in an IT company a few years ago who could not understand why he needed to give his sales team recognition for the results they were achieving. He had no need for positive feedback and in fact, was suspicious of people’s motives when they gave him recognition.

Understanding different behavioural styles and their needs are essential for managers to know that different team members have different needs – and to learn how to adapt the way they motivate each member of the team.

2. Delegation: this is a skill that many managers do not do well, but for many different reasons. Again the first step in becoming more effective at delegation is to be aware of your own strengths and challenges at delegation. Some managers struggle with the delegation of responsibility because they don’t believe that their direct reports will be able to do the job as well as they can.

In many cases this means that the manager actually doesn’t want to be a manager – they would rather do the work themselves than manage others doing the work.

In other cases, the manager has extremely high expectations about how the delegated work will be done, and the level of expectation is often not communicated effectively. The result is that expectations are not met and conflict ensues.

The key to more effective delegation is for managers to be more aware of their own natural tendencies in delegating, and to learn when they need to adapt their natural approach to be a better match for each of their direct reports.

3. Developing Talent: this is one of the most important skills today’s managers need to develop. Every team member has talent they can bring to the table to help the team become a high performing team. The diversity of talent required to create a high performing team requires a mixture of behavioural styles and personalities on the team.

Do your managers have the awareness of different behavioural styles or personalities of their team members to be able to identify their talents – and then have the skills to develop these talents to create a high performing team?

It is a Two-Step Process

In order for managers to have meaningful conversations with their direct reports about their motivation, their willingness to take on additional responsibilities and how to develop their talents, there are two steps to take.

Firstly, the manager needs to be aware of their own behavioural style, and realise that their direct reports are not clones of themselves. Secondly, they need to understand each of their direct reports as individuals, and how they can communicate with them in a way that will increase their engagement and commitment to performing at their best every day.

Click here to learn more about a tool that can help your managers learn to master these three skills and how to have more meaningful conversations.

Written by Keith Ayers

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