Employee Engagement & Retention - Managerial Effectiveness - 2

While doing Managers selection, it is imperative that we select, train and assess managers on their ability to not only motivate, but also to do preventative treatment and early-stage diagnostics on emerging motivational issues. Great managers use this insight to calibrate their investments of the "motivational capital" inherent in the work itself and in the best performers. They tend to actively discuss work interests and career goals with each employee

Spare some time and hear a conversation at break / coffee corners in the organization. Most of these corners are used for giving outlet to accumulated frustrations  and favorite whipping boy / girl is demon called MANAGER….We all did it at some point or other, however, when we are Managers, do we think about it….or rather, don’t we indulge ourselves in such session?  we may adopt politically correct posturing, however, fact of the matter remain that most of us get into this, some straight and some in subtle ways….

If we look at 7-10 years work experience population in current context, majority of them would have seen minimum of 3-4 bosses, however, one boss would stand out whose qualities they would like to emulate. I have asked this question multiple times in multiple forums. Out of 4-5 bosses, you have worked so far with, which is the 1 you admire most? You can see the adrenaline flow when person take the name or start describing the qualities of the Manager he / she admires….

Next question, I tend to ask is how many of sub-ordinates, let us say few year down the line whether in this organization or any other, will be saying the same thing about you with the same pride and glitter in their eyes as you have while remembering your most influential manager? This make people think. 

I have outlined few tips below that shall help Managers command respect thanks to their  investment in building trust capital.

Stay and keep your employees in loop : -
It is hard for you to do your best without good information.  Get information to make your employees feel involved. Ensure that you share information with your sub-ordinates as early as possible.. Check what might happen when you with-hold information about change. 

There will certainly be times when you will be privy to information that you simply cannot share with your employees…Tell them you are not at liberty to share and tell them why.  Openness and transparency plays a critical role in  enhancing Managerial effectiveness.

Recognize ineffective and potentially damaging behavior of your own and do something about it : -
As we all know that disliking the Boss is one of the top causes of talent loss. If employees don’t like their bosses, they will leave even when they are paid well, receive recognition and have a chance to learn and grow. Therefore, it is imperative for Managers to create mechanism to receive feedback that should come anonymously and it should be used for awareness and development
Never Hoard your talent ….Challenge Employees and help expand their Goals : - Help employees see that lateral moves can improve skills.  Helping employees reach their goals often means helping them consider moves they may not have taken seriously  at first instance. Not all those who say they want vertical moves will leave if they don’t get them. However, they will leave (physically or mentally) if they are not challenged. So ensure that they get assignments that make them think. Top resources when comfortable are most uncomfortable.
Consider talking to your employees in several directions - Lateral movement, Enrichment; Exploration, Realignment etc. Some managers are so fearful that they hoard their talent, failing to expose them to other opportunities- Ironically that strategy back fires and some of the best people walk often to the competitor.

In my next post, I shall touch upon few more Tips to enhance Managerial effectiveness. Watch out the space!


  1. Anonymous8:58:00 PM

    selfishness , ego plays at times with the new managers who wants to prove at all cost that they are right.....

  2. Anonymous8:31:00 PM

    Overall I like the vibe of the article. I agree with most. What I see slightly differently is MOTIVATION. I believe the research shows that the best people (A Players we call them in Topgrading - www.topgrading.com) do not need to be motivated by their bosses or anyone. I take this view. What they need is the freedom to do what they do best, and like best. The managers main role then is to get out of the way and to avoid DEMOTIVATING. In your article you addressed this by asking managers to get feedback on how they screw up and fix it. I agree. Team members need inspiration, support, nurturing, encouragement, but not motivation. that's internal. And, of course, like anyone else, they need to be told when they screw up too. good article.

  3. Good article Raj.

    That said, I was never truly able to understand leadership and engagement until I concentrated on listening to employees. Eventually the light came on and I discovered the science of people and how they respond to managerial actions and inactions. Before that I had spent my time studying what other executives and managers had done, quite like studying other car mechanics in order to become a great car mechanic rather than studying the cars.

    What I learned was that all people have five basic needs: to be heard, to be respected, and to have competence, autonomy, and relatedness (purpose). And the extent to which management meets these needs dictates, repeat dictates the extent of engagement of the workforce. Since a "fully engaged" workforce is at least 300% more productive than a mostly disengaged one, engagement turns out to be a very valuable condition for management to achieve. I proved all this is four separate turnarounds, from being the worst to being the best.

    How to meet those needs is relatively simple and if anyone wants to know, please just ask.

  4. Anonymous7:17:00 PM

    Managers who suffer from megalomania:These mangers never allow their talented employees to take charge and do the work.They always interfere with the objectives, performance standards, resources, and infrastructure of the units. They dismantle the units and departments. The take all decisions and demand the subordinates to execute. Within a short time they destroy the culture and motivation. They never delegate required authority to the unit heads. Such mangers need to be treated first. If they continue for more time, that company will have to be closed.They have very big portfolio and CV which are due to their subordinates performance. Never select such mangers!

  5. Anonymous9:11:00 AM

    I totally agree with you Raj. Lot of times employees are promoted to next level basis their operational performance and are given line management responsibility too. It is a good practice to motivate staff, however we need to ensure that organisation has equipped them well with the people management skills and techniques so that they do well as a Manager. I have come across lot of cases where an individual had excelled in the operational performance but failed as a manager.

  6. Neal Chamberlain3:31:00 PM

    A good article, Raj. I agree, it is about the manager taking a genuine personal interest in the aspirations and wellbeing of the employee. So many managers forget this or pay lip service to it and do not realise they are transparent in this. Senior leaders can also be accountable about this: it so much depends on what is measured and seen as important - if simply getting product out is seen as the goal, so many of the 'softer' but important aspects of managing people will be lost - as they will be seen as not valued or recognised.