ATD Blog

The Manager’s Employee Engagement Checklist

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Gallup’s State of the American Workplace study highlighted the single greatest thing organizations can do to increase employee engagement:  hire the right managers.  In fact, the study says that if you hire a manager who is disengaged, the workgroup they manage is three times more likely to be disengaged.  

But even if you hire the right, highly engaged managers, they still need to know (and do) the most effective things to bring their work group to higher, and hopefully best-in-class, levels of engagement.  And even if they know these engagement management “to dos,” they often forget to implement them, or execute them consistently.

So why not give managers a checklist? I created one based on a key driver analysis of millions of employee engagement survey responses. The following suggestions are in order of importance. 

  • Put a reminder in your outlook calendar to carve out one hour each week to recognize employees who do great work or accomplish great outcomes.

  • Have a career development conversation with each of your direct reports during the last quarter.

  • During the career development conversation, ask employee where he or she wants to be in six months or a year and offer to help them achieve that career objective.

  • Ask employees what things get them passionate and excited about doing their job? Conversely, ask them what things disengage them while at work.

  • Ask employees what their passions and hobbies are outside of work, showing a genuine interest while listening to their response. On a related note, the next time they do great work, give them a gift related to that passion or hobby (such as a paperback book).

  • Give your direct reports access to a free resource that will empower them to privately see how engaged they are, as well as get suggestions on what they can do to become more engaged. Here is a link to a sample free resource.

  • Offer clear instructions and your expectations on what outcomes they should accomplish in their job.

  • Encourage employees to review a list of reflective questions to ensure they are in a job/role that excites them and they are passionate about. Here is a link to some sample questions.

  • Find ways to insert more FUN into your department and workplace culture. 

This checklist will prove useful to ensure that your managers are fully leveraging the key drivers of employee engagement. It is a best practice that managers should review this checklist every month.  

About the Author

Kevin Sheridan is an internationally recognized keynote speaker, a New York Times bestselling author, and one of the most sought after voices in the world on the topic of employee engagement. He spent 30 years as a high-level human capital management consultant helping some of the world’s largest corporations rebuild a culture that fosters productive engagement, which earned him several distinctive awards and honors. Kevin’s premier creation, PEER, has been consistently recognized as a long-overdue, industry-changing innovation in the field of employee engagement. His book Building a Magnetic Culture made six bestseller lists, including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today. He also wrote The Virtual Manager, which explores how to more effectively manage remote workers. Kevin received a master of business administration with a concentration in strategy, human resources management, and organizational behavior from Harvard Business School.

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