The extent to which managers provide guidance, feedback and the appropriate level of autonomy for staff is key to whether employees go the extra mile for their organisation, research for the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) suggests.
The research was commissioned to help organisations develop practical guidance for use in promoting better line management performance amongst managers.
Ben Willmott, CIPD senior public policy adviser, said: “The central role of managers in boosting individual and organisational performance is well recognised – with the recent government commissioned MacLeod review of employee engagement making the point particularly well. But managers need more specific, tried-and-tested guidance on what they can do on a day-to-day basis to fulfil this key role well. Our new research is designed to fill that gap.
“The research findings may seem on the face of it simple, common sense recommendations. But it is precisely that kind of plain-speaking common sense that managers need. Our findings shine a light on what managers can really do on a day-to-day basis to ensure employees will go the extra mile.
“In today’s tough economic environment how managers manage is even more important in supporting employee commitment and motivation in the face of job cuts, pay freezes and cuts to training and development budgets.”
Emma Donaldson-Feilder, research author and director of employee wellbeing consultancy Affinity Health at Work, which conducted the study, said: “We hope this research will help employers and HR practitioners support managers in enhancing employee engagement. The framework, and particularly the specific behavioural indicators, can help managers understand what they need to do. They can be used in learning and development, performance appraisal and even assessment and selection to ensure that those with people management responsibilities behave in ways that will best engage those they manage.”
The most frequently mentioned management competencies for supporting employee engagement were:
> reviewing and guiding
> feedback, praise and recognition
> autonomy and empowerment
> level of interest the manager shows in employees as individuals