Polishing for Performance - How to Optimize your Managers

4 min read

So, here’s the secret to creating a better workforce. This isn't a gated piece of content, you don't have to enter your credit card to receive these insights. I'm just going to tell you the secret because, well, it's an important thing for everyone to know, and I'm feeling generous. Are you ready? Ok, let's dive in.

Top Down

You can address employee issues and tweak working conditions on this base level until you are blue in the face, but in a corporate top down business model this is unlikely to create lasting change. You're sure to fix a symptom or two, but these things come and go as a matter of habit - what you want to do is go for the roots. If you want to truly enact better behavioral practices, you need to start with helping your managers. If you can change the behavior of your managers by providing them better tools, training, and incentives, you can actually double the rate of engaged employees.

Chutes and Ladders

This positive change should prove to be worthwhile on its own merit, but if growth and achievement don't do it for you, consider the inverse - this negative impact should provide enough reinforcement to encourage you to explore this change. We've found that companies with low engagement scores and lackluster management engagement plans earn an operating income significantly lower than companies with more engaged employees and more empowered managers. Similarly, companies with a highly engaged workforce experience a growth in their operating income over a 12-month period – the kind of growth you can’t buy with simple, unfocused incentives. This kind of success requires that you utilize thoughtful, strategic manager training and employee engagement practices.

Miracle Grow

Engaged companies grow profits as much as 3 times faster than their competitors, and with a margin of growth that large, it’s tough to deny the power and profit of a pro-management corporate strategy. There is no end to the statistics here - the data supports engaged managers, and the proof is in the plan in motion. This may be my favorite part of enacting a top-down manager empowerment strategy: the efficacy of the system in motion. If you give managers the tools they need to help them train and develop their direct reports, you will inherently effect employee engagement and enjoy a jump in performance.

Tool Time

With these coaching tools, you can align employee actions with corporate objectives, and encourage the behaviors of top performers. Your team is the greatest resource you have, and by motivating them and optimizing their performance, you save yourself the cost and hardship of hunting down, hiring, and ramping up new headcount. This is the intrinsic benefit of smartly effecting the system you already have in place – the machine is ready to run, and will run in incredible ways when you allow it to do so. All it needs are the right components and the right treatment, and it will work like a charm.