“Do you view workplace interruptions as an opportunity to reconnect, to learn about problems and to sense the need for an idea or support? Or, do you see interruptions as the reason you must work late and take projects home?” CAI’s CEO Bruce Clarke asks his readers in his latest N & O Column, “The View from HR.”
In his December 18 edition, Bruce praises the message Doug Conant, the CEO of Campbell Soup Company, provides in his book Touch Points. Doug’s message infers that consistent, supportive and genuine communication between two people can work as a motivator and a problem solver.
If you polled all of your managers with direct reports, how would they respond to Bruce’s question? Managers hold several roles and are responsible for the work and career progress of the employees they supervise. Managers who view workplace interruptions positively encourage connections with their employees.
“Connecting is more than communicating,” Bruce says. “Telling somebody what to do is communicating, but connecting around their challenges is connecting. Communication is the foundation, but think how much powerful it is to truly connect!”
Echoing the importance of connecting with employees, Workforce.com featured an article based on a survey conducted by Bersin & Associates. The coaching-focused survey shows that organizations that effectively prep their managers to coach are 130 percent more likely to achieve stronger business outcomes. These companies are also 33 percent better at engaging their workforce.
Help your managers communicate and connect with their employees better. Having strong connections between coworkers at your workplace will raise employee morale, increase productivity and affect your bottom line positively. Here are a few areas that your managers should be coached in:
Communicating effectively is a key trait that all managers should possess. Clear communication will help their direct reports understand expectations the first time they receive them, which will help bring greater and timelier success for projects. Managers that have two-way communication with their staff are aware of individual strengths and weaknesses, and they can help determine the tasks best suited for their employees. Good communication also helps managers uncover problems early to find reasonable and lasting solutions.
Managers with direct reports should be good leaders because they are responsible for many items within an organization. Those with good leadership abilities will handle stressful situations by remaining calm and continuing to work to deliver results. Managers with strong leadership skills will make decisions with confidence and serve as exemplary examples of dedicated employees. They will support their company’s overall culture and work to help attain the goals of their supervisors and employees who report to them.
Managers should know that teamwork is essential for creating success, and they should understand how their team’s efforts contribute to their company’s bottom line. As a member of their departmental team or overall organization, they need to have good interpersonal skills to relay and receive information. Managers need to know how their team members work separately and together. They need to delegate tasks appropriately to help their team run efficiently. Additionally, good managers should be able to resolve conflict between team members quickly and effectively to keep productivity high.
A major cause of disengagement in employees is the failure of their employer to recognize the contributions that they provide. Good managers with engaged employees give positive and constructive feedback frequently. They actively listen to the concerns of their employees and try to foster environments that motivate their staffs to produce high-quality work. They help their employees feel valued because they say “thank you” often and reward them for their accomplishments. Managers who understand employee recognition also invest time in developing their employees’ skills and helping them reach their career goals.
CAI provides a number of options for companies looking to strengthen their coaching efforts. Please visit CAI’s Coaching page or call a member of CAI’s Learning and Development Team at 919-878-9222.
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