The ability to engage and empower employees to give the best of themselves to their work is one of the greatest skills any manager can possess. It results in people bringing not just their bodies to work but also their hearts and minds. They want to work WITH you, not just FOR you.
70% of employee engagement is determined by employees’ managers not by external rewards and perks. It therefore makes enormous sense that organisations invest in the professional development of their managers as a way to grow their organisations.
When managers know how to motivate their employees for high performance, rather than just attempting to manage their work, a great organisational culture is built of energised and empowered people and as a result productivity increases.
Yet 44% of managers do not know what motivates their employees. They therefore do not have the information they need to bring out the best in their people who are a significant source of their organisation’s success.
Many do not have the skills either, having been appointed to management positions because of their excellent technical skills with no experience in managing, motivating and inspiring people and no leadership development training.
It is now well recognised that managers need well-developed soft skills to complement their hard, technical skills if they want to be successful and move their careers on and up. These are the skills that develop and enhance their personalities, attitudes, behaviours and mindsets. They are the skills that see managers managing themselves first so they can then manage their people.
Managers who pursue the development of their soft leadership skills become highly sought after professionals because the most challenging issues in organisations are the people issues. Anyone who can lead and manage people to give their best quickly attracts attention. Those organisations that do provide that leadership development stop there, however, when the second biggest challenge for managers is themselves. Their own interpersonal challenges so often stop them from being the best version of themselves. Only the CEOs and executives get the opportunity for development at this level.
So why is it then that organisations invest so little in the kind of professional development that will empower their managers with the soft leadership skills they need to motivate their employees for higher performance?