If there are only a few things that managers could do or focus on to improve their perceived effectiveness in the eyes of their employees, what would they be?
Research conducted from our recent eBook "The Employee Experience Gap," uncovered which attributes are most important and predict an employee's rating for a manager's overall efficiency in a performance review. In addition, as organizations and employees continue to work through the health and economic consequences of the pandemic, these attributes have never been more critical.
From all the determined attributes, we've narrowed it down to four simple things every manager can do to improve their perceived effectiveness:
Show Support and Understanding. Be present and accessible to employees, providing help in daily activities. Give encouragement, stand up for employees and follow through on their concerns and issues. Exert the effort necessary to listen to your employees, ask them questions, listen to what they have to say and find out if they are experiencing any issues. Lending an ear to your employees genuinely, honestly and thoughtfully, will raise your effectiveness as perceived by them.
Provide Recognition. Recognition refers to complimenting and praising good work, giving employees credit for good ideas and recognizing employees for their loyalty to the job and the organization. It is important for you to recognize both teams and individuals. Managers who are good at this personalize recognition to the specifics of what an employee does well. They also recognize the passion, skills and abilities of employees and their achievements.
Communicate Clear Performance Expectations. Employees want managers who communicate work priorities, clearly explain the assigned work and deliver honest and helpful feedback on how they are performing. Effective managers connect the work to the organization's purpose and its mission and values. Employees also want timely communication that is clear, concise, honest and transparent. As a result, they understand what is expected – in terms of productivity, quality and timeliness.
Treat Employees with Dignity and Respect. In action, treating employees with dignity and respect refers to the general notion of treating people well, as competent adults who want to make a valuable contribution to the team's efforts. It involves trusting the experience employees bring to the job and showing respect for diverse work styles. It can be demonstrated in the concern managers show for the welfare of their employees, for example, in the care managers take to ensure the safety and physical well-being of employees.
When managers improve their effectiveness, they embody the attributes employees want most. In return, businesses receive a host of positive results for themselves and the teams, departments and business units they lead. More than ever before, the employee experience matters, and managers can't buy a better employee experience; they need to create it.
Authors Note: This content originally appeared in our The Employee Experience Gap eBook.