I really love today’s reader question because it talks about manager morale.
I am looking for some suggestions on how to measure the morale of management members and report in a graphical fashion. Thank you!
We often talk about employee engagement, satisfaction, and morale. And those things are important. But they’re predicated on manager engagement, satisfaction, and morale. It’s really hard – almost impossible – to have a highly engaged workforce with a disengaged manager. Granted a manager could be faking it really well (and that has happened), but eventfully employees figure it out. They’re smart.
So, putting measures in place to understand how engaged your management team is makes sense. Here are a few things to consider:
Create a manager onboarding program. Organizations have employee onboarding programs so new hires are set up for success. New managers need to be set up for success as well. During onboarding, check-in with managers to make sure they are getting the resources and support that they need. Organizations can do electronic check-ins and report the results in pie charts.
Conduct one-on-one meetings with managers. We ask managers to conduct one-on-one meetings with employees to discuss performance, offer coaching, and receive feedback. Senior leadership could do the same thing with managers. Or maybe HR can conduct manager one-on-ones annually? It might be a challenge to report the results in a graph, but a summary of findings could be very valuable.
Develop a survey. I’ve worked for companies that, during our annual employee engagement survey, we identified management (versus employees). This allowed the organization to see if there were areas where managers and employees felt differently. For example, the survey might show that managers were pleased with their benefits package, but employees weren’t. Or employees were happy with work/life balance, but managers aren’t. This allows the organization to take appropriate action.
Ask during exit interviews. While the manager has made the decision to leave, this doesn’t mean that the organization cannot collect some data about their work experience. Look at your current exit interview to see if you can add a couple of multiple choice or Likert scale questions. These can be reported in graphical fashion and trends can be identified over time.
One thing to note, it’s possible that the information you will gather during these activities is going to fall into a couple of categories. The first is what I’ll call trend data, meaning that it’s a trend you’re seeing with the manager group. For example, a lack of proper training. The organization can address the issue by creating learning opportunities.
The other type is individual data. It could be results that only apply to one person or a couple of managers. This might prompt an investigation. The results might find that there are some reporting relationship challenges. Or a manager is having some specific performance issues. The answer could be an intervention.
The good news is that many organizations already have the pieces in place to measure management engagement. They might need to figure out how to accurately pull the information from the larger data set. And as this reader mentioned, find a way to report the results so senior management will take action.
Image captured by Sharlyn Lauby while exploring the Wynwood Art District in Miami, FL13