by | Jul 23, 2019

So make having great managers a priority in your company.

We talk a lot about the importance of leadership communication at the very top levels of the organization, but managers are the ones who directly impact employees’ day-to-day experiences. Your CEO can talk the talk and walk the walk, but if people managers are not aligned with the vision and engaged in the company, the culture at the top won’t flow through to your front line.

If people leave managers, then one of the best things a company can do is improve its managers. To do that, we first need to improve the manager experience.

How do your managers experience the culture? For instance, if leadership talks about having a collaborative culture, but very rarely involves managers in problem-solving or asks for their ideas and insights, then you’ve got a disconnect well before you get to the rank-and-file employees. Work to integrate your culture into the employee experience of your managers, so that they can in turn make the culture part of their teams’ employee experience. (For more on that, see Gallup’s excellent series on THE MANAGER EXPERIENCE.)

How do their managers manage them? A company where high-level managers give frequent and meaningful feedback to their teams and play a role in guiding their teams’ individual career development is a very different environment from one where the C-level interacts mostly with each other. That absence of involvement form managers will trickle down to each level below the C-suite. If they’re managed with a coaching style or an authoritarian one, that also will trickle down.

Are the vision and values actually guiding what happens at work? A strong culture, based on a clear vision and meaningful values that help guide decisions and actions, can make a company sticky from a retention standpoint. If managers see how their roles, and those of their teams, support the overall success of the company, it makes their work more exciting and their priorities less fragmented.

When managers are excited about their priorities, they’re better able to engage their own people. And so on and so on, down to the most entry level position in the organization. People are less likely to leave managers who get them fired up about what they’re working to achieve.

Giving managers the tools and the training to communicate the vision and values is also important. Particularly in companies where corporate communications are largely cascaded through managers, there’s a need to engage managers first, so they can then in turn engage their people. For example, if you’re introducing evolved values or a new vision, you might announce it first to managers and involve them in how to roll it out to employees. Managers also appreciate the tools to help them stay on message. For more on how to help with that, see Manager Toolkits for Cascading Information.

How do you stop people from leaving managers? Make work a better experience for your managers, and they’ll make it a better experience for their teams.

Interested in improving your manager experience? Tribe can help.

Subscribe to our internal communications blog