Engagement Driver #3- Employee Relationship with Supervisor

Engagement Driver #3- Employee Relationship with Supervisor

Our prior article “What Drives Engagement?” listed the top 10 engagement drivers.

Two areas impact employee perceptions of  their relationship with the supervisor (category 3):

1. Good relationship with supervisor  

According to author James Robbins in his book “9 Minutes on Monday,” trust is the key component in a good relationship with your direct reports. He suggests a weekly “walkabout” to spend a few minutes talking informally with one team member to discuss something personal (not about work!) to show that you care.

2. Input into decision-making in my department

You don’t have to abdicate a decision to employees to get their input and improve their perceptions of “having a say.” Read our related post about “Total Reward #5 Autonomy” that shows a graph of the continuum of decision-making involvement

Three steps you can take NOW to improve employee perceptions of their relationship and role with (you) their direct manager:

  1. Schedule a time each week to do your “walkabout” to chat about the personal life of one employee.
  2. Find one moderately important decision you need to make soon, hold a meeting where you outline the issue and ask everyone to give input, discuss the ideas without “shooting them down” (you can share your thoughts and why you are considering this approach), and be sure to thank everyone for their contributions.
  3. After you have made the final decision, communicate this with your reasoning, again with recognition and appreciation for everyone’s input.

Article for more reading:

How to be a Better Boss in 2013 by leadership expert Jack Zenger (great tips here based on study of thousands of managers rated by their employees!)


Diana Southall is a fifth generation entrepreneur, and creator of the People Plan toolkit.™ Her firm specializes in coaching small business owners and managers to build, engage and reward a fabulous team!

You can start working with Diana with free members-only access to People coaching resources, including informative video training, articles, time saving documents and templates. Join the FREE membership club here.

Engagment Drivers #2- What is Valued?

Engagment Drivers #2- What is Valued?

Our prior article What Drives Engagement? listed the top 10 engagement drivers.

Two areas impact employee perceptions of what the organization values (category 2):

#1. “(My boss) sets high personal standards”

  • Share what excellence and success looks like in their job (do you have any key performance indicators to discuss/ share/ track?)
  • Hold everyone accountable to do their job to expectations (including yourself- walk the walk)

#2. “Organization encourages innovative thinking”

  • Listen to new ideas and process suggestions, thoughtfully consider and discuss the viability of the idea

Three steps you can take NOW to improve employee perceptions of work standards and innovation:

  1. Regularly discuss work load and priorities, find out if team members have the tools and information to complete their tasks, and invite updates to re-direct if things aren’t on track
  2. Manage by results, not micromanage the process—this allows your team member to come up with a different (and often better) way to achieve the same outcome, then occasionally have staff share their methods with others doing the same task
  3. Ask your team- “What is one thing that could be improved for better customer service or to reduce a big hassle?” Then outline an action plan, assign tasks with deadlines, and revisit at your weekly meeting to implement this innovative improvement

Two articles for more reading:

It’s a fine line between setting high standards and being demanding. Read what NOT to do on Forbes: 10 tips on for dealing with an overly demanding boss

For tips on getting more practice at innovative thinking and turning into a habit, read “Innovation Is Everyone’s Job” on Harvard Business Review


Diana Southall is a fifth generation entrepreneur, and creator of the People Plan toolkit.™ Her firm specializes in coaching small business owners and managers to build, engage and reward a fabulous team!

You can start working with Diana with free members-only access to People coaching resources, including informative video training, articles, time saving documents and templates. Join the FREE membership club here.


Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Key Steps Before Asking Your People to Innovate and Change

Key Steps Before Asking Your People to Innovate and Change

Could the “new economy” be an external obstacle to your company performance and growth? Psychology research has known for years that stress reduces cognitive (brain) performance.

It makes sense that personal stressors are impacting your employees’ ability to change and to be engaged with their job.

Article excerpt: “The reality is that change threatens everyone at some level. It’s normal to feel stressed, hesitant and fearful. When people are feeling that way in anticipation of change, they don’t think or act normally, and often appear to be acting like they have no brain.”

Click for the full article:
Left Brain? Right Brain? How About No Brain?: Key Steps Before Asking Your People to Innovate and Change

Author is Michigan consultant Scott Patchin of the Tru Group. His firm specializes in “helping organizations get the right people in the right roles to grow their culture and their business” just as the People Plan does.


Diana Southall is a fifth generation entrepreneur, and creator of the People Plan toolkit.™ Her firm specializes in coaching small business owners and managers to build, engage and reward a fabulous team!

You can start working with Diana with free members-only access to People coaching resources, including informative video training, articles, time saving documents and templates. Join the FREE membership club here.


Image courtesy of marcolm at FreeDigitalPhotos.net