- Managers can improve employee engagement and build workers' trust by simply greeting them when the workday begins, according to a new Peakon report emailed to HR Dive. The report showed that a morning "hello" from managers can open up a conversation that allows employees to share their thoughts and opinions.
- The report cited other basic actions managers can take now to increase engagement: telling workers "good-bye" at the end of the workday; asking employees on Monday morning how their weekend went; making it easier for employees to ask for guidance, and hosting one-on-one bi-weekly meetings with team members.
- Peakon said that although these gestures from managers can be significant ways to improve employee engagement, the results won't likely be seen right away, but instead will occur over time.
Most managers in a study by West Monroe Partners reported feeling overwhelmed and not always sufficiently trained for their leadership roles. Based on these results, it follows that many managers may not know that simple gestures can set the tone for a work environment that's inclusive, trusting, productive and engaging. Managers who are feeling overworked may not have thought that greeting workers in the morning or scheduling bi-weekly, one-on-one meetings with workers could profoundly impact engagement.
Of course, toxic managers won't likely adopt the Peakon report's recommendations for improving engagement without HR's intervention. According to a Monster survey released last year, 76% of workers said they currently have or have recently had a toxic boss — managers whom 1 in 4 cited as "power hungry" people who only care about themselves. These types of managers will likely drive out employees, essentially undoing employers' best plans for engaging workers. HR can arrange training sessions to help minimize managers' stress, improve time-management skills and discover effective ways to engage employees.