This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
Pillar 5: Bring back the manager

Line manager behaviour and the working environments they create have a profound impact on engagement levels. Good managers have the power to motivate and inspire their teams; poor managers have quite the opposite effect and can sap morale as their teams simply go through the motions. Leaders should focus their

efforts on developing the mana- gerial capacity needed to deliver a high-performance engagement

culture. Tis can be done by: ``


redefining the concept of a manager to ensure an emphasis is placed on engagement


streamlining the managerial role to ensure sufficient time and energy can be dedicated to effective people management ensuring that managers have the

necessary skills and training to: `

lead change

` ` ` `

manage performance recognise efforts

create and lead effective teams communicate effectively.

Pillar 6: Harnessing talent Although much has been made of the so-called ‘war for talent’, MacLeod contends that many leaders fail to recognise that talent exists at all levels within their organisation. Many follow the well-trodden path of focusing on an elite group of high potentials at the expense of a more inclusive approach. Unequal access to development

opportunities can breed a culture of resentment and reduce engagement. Leaders can influence the direction

of talent management strategies by: ``

making it a priority throughout the organisation (encouraging staff development)

`` ``

encouraging a broad view of what constitutes talent in the organisation (not just ‘managing people’) creating the opportunity for

employees to put themselves forward for leadership development


identifying the likely future needs of the organisation and developing talent accordingly.

Pillar 7: Creating consequences

MacLeod argues that engagement will remain a background issue unless managers – the people who impact employee engagement on a daily basis – are made truly accountable for achieving it. Measuring improvements

in engagement and providing a clear link to appropriate rewards will help elevate the importance of overall engagement efforts. To achieve this, levels of employee

engagement should become a part of every manager’s performance appraisal. Tis can be measured with 360 feedback or engagement surveys. For example, at Coca-Cola in 2008, what an individual achieved accounted for 60 per cent of their appraisal. How they achieved it – by engaging employ- ees, say – accounted for 40 per cent.9 MacLeod warns, however, that the use of the word ‘consequences’ can set people on edge and raise the spectre of ‘punishment’. Tis is not the case. Tose managers who are listening

to their staff, communicating effectively and recognising success should be rewarded. In departments where engagement is poor, the manager likely needs further development or men- toring to improve their performance. As MacLeod shows, there are

many ways in which a leader can influence employees to go the extra mile. Every employee has the capacity to become more engaged, and it is up to an organisation’s leaders to

Martin Baker is the founder and chief executive of the Corporate eLearning Consortium, supporting mangers with the online Toolkit for Managers, and empowering learning professionals with the online 70:20:10 Practitioner Programme. Find out more at

References 1 David MacLeod and Nita Clarke, Engaging for success: enhancing performance through employee engagement, BIS, 2009,

2 David MacLeod and Chris Brady, The extra mile: how to engage your people to win, Financial Times/Prentice Hall, 2007

3 Typical engagement strategies involve improving an organisation’s performance environment in order to increase the percentage of ‘highly engaged’ employees

4 K. Truss, E. Soane, C. Edwards, K. Wisdom, A. Croll and J. Burnett, Working life: employee attitudes and engagement, CIPD Research Report, 2006,

5 Closing the engagement gap: a road map for driving superior business performance, Towers Perrin, 2007-2008

6 David MacLeod and Chris Brady, The extra mile: how to engage your people to win, Financial Times/Prentice Hall, 2007, p142

7 Inspired leadership: insights into people who inspire exceptional performance, BIS/Chartered Management Institute Research, August 2004,

8 David MacLeod and Chris Brady, The extra mile: how to engage your people to win, Financial Times/Prentice Hall, 2007, p168

9 Ibid. p231 | October 2016 | 37

understand how their behaviour and actions impact on engagement levels.

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44