Employee Engagement: Good Management Matters

Good management matters. Managers need to be fully engaged themselves and they can can play a very significant role in engaging others.

Let’s start fully managing employee engagement and engaging management fully.

Employee Engagement Engage Symbol

Shifting to Management. I believe we will see a significant focus on management this decade. I think we have saturated our focus on leadership and will move to a stronger focus on fully engaging management. We need good managers who are good leaders and good leaders who are good managers. Engagement means getting things done and getting things done not through people but with people and this will be a major role for managers in the 10 years ahead.

Mediocre managers days are numbered. There have been so many books and blog posts on what to do when you work for a “jerk” that bad bosses and mediocre managers must know that their days are numbered.

Rosa Say focused on management. Rosa Say is focusing strongly on management in 2010. I loved her post on reduce your leadership to a part-time job:

I am Manager, hear me roar. In 2010, dare to call yourself a manager, and be a great manager instead of a “leader.” I am not saying to stop leading, not at all. I am saying to put leadership in better perspective as another thing that great managers do, and do well. Do it better than most self-proclaimed leaders do.

Think about the definition we have been using, where simply said, management is about channeling available energies into optimal productivity, a productivity aimed at whatever mission or vision (or strategic objectives) we have set our sights on. If only we had more of that!

People continue to write books about leadership, touting “more leadership” as what we desperately need. I admit that I have been thinking that way too, but 2009 and the challenges we still face have illustrated something to me: What is working best for those in the success stories we see unfolding, is a return to more management concentration, but in that reinvention that management still needs to achieve. You can expect that is where my attentions will now be as I continue to share my writing with you.

Return to the deliberate work ethic of a better-defined management style. Manage more than you lead, and in the process, accomplish them both. Accomplish them better.

Lisa Haneberg is a vocal,  steady, and consistent voice for managers and managing. Lisa has been crafting management and a very strong management advocate for well over the last 5 years. I encourage you to read her blog on Management Craft.

Terrence Seamon on Management 3.0. Terrence, who is very involved in employee engagement,  wrote about Management 3.0

Management 3.0 is about engaging and unleashing people. As I have said before, we are witnessing a paradigm shift in organizations worldwide:

  • from focus on weaknesses to focus on strengths
  • from appraisal to appreciation
  • from “our way or the highway” to flexibility
  • from “one size fits all” to customization
  • from “command and control” to coach and engage

Management 3.0 recognizes that the aims of the earlier eras –increasing productivity and satisfying customers– are still relevant, but are achieved by hiring the best and trusting that they will do what the organization needs to have done.

Call it the talent management movement, or the positive workplace movement, or the employee engagement movement, or the strengths-based movement, or the appreciative inquiry movement, or whatever. It is happening.

Bob Sutton – 6 questions to assess Your management. Bob Sutton has certainly tackled the importance of good management in Work Matters.  I appreciated his recent short profile on Frank Shoniker from Canada:

…back on June 10th I commented on the emotion of dealing with having to let people go. Who knew that less than a month later it would be my turn! With an experience less than ideal, I can only offer advice on what makes a “good boss” vs. a “toxic boss”.

I can sum it up in 6 question

  1. Do you make decisions in isolation
  2. Do you have your staff’s “back”?
  3. Do you put yourself in the “other guys shoes”?
  4. Do you trust others?
  5. Do you listen to the contrarians?
  6. Are your ideas always the best?

If you answered honestly, all you bosses out there, you will know where there are areas for improvement. I leave you with what I hope my staff continue to think about me, that I was predicable, understanding, that I gave them some control over their business lives, and that I was compassionate. At the end of the day we all have to live with ourselves.

Engage with these management questions:

  1. If you are a manager, how do you manage your own engagement (Managers are employees too)?
  2. Do you understand how engaging others is managing?
  3. Are you fully leveraging the power of management for the benefit of all?
  4. Are your managers stuck in the middle or are they the core strength of the organization?
  5. How will you be a more engaged and engaging manager before 2010 is over?


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