How do you empower managers to engage?

On Thursday 21 August, Steve Murgatroyd organised an #asktheguru event for CIPR Inside, all about empowering managers to engage.

Steve has shared his views from the evening with us here.

Over to Steve:

I love a discussion! I’d much rather spend an evening talking with people about topics than listen to some talk about them. I think the best ideas are created when people work together. So when I joined the CIPR Inside committee I immediately put my hat in the ring to look after the Ask the Guru sessions. The chance to lead on something designed to be a group discussion and a chance for IC people to be open and honest with their views sounded perfect for me.

My first session was held on Thursday 21 August and we focused on empowering line managers to help them better engage their employees. As the name suggests we needed a couple of gurus to help the discussion get going and we were very lucky to get John Smythe and Jo Dodds, both heavily involved in the Engage for Success movement.

phones engagedmedium

What does engagement mean?

We kicked the evening off with introductions and then dived straight into some big topics. We spoke about what the word engagement means. How some people use it as a verb rather than an outcome of other work. We discussed what an engaged employee looks like…engaged employees don’t necessarily need to shout love for the company from the rooftops. Some of my favourite points are below, but check out the twitter hashtag (#asktheguru) and the storify from the night for the full round up!

  • Operational managers can be scared by the word engagement and unsure what to do. Speak to them in the language they understand and use.
  • Leadership and management are not the same thing. Just because someone is a manager doesn’t mean they can lead. We need to help them gain those skills
  • John Smythe made a great point about working out how manager has got their style by looking back at everyone in their life that has inspired them and why. This will probably explain why they are how they are
  • Do engagement surveys work? Do we just do them because ‘we always have’? Do they just fix transactional issues rather than wider leadership/engagement issues?
  • Do we ask the right questions in our surveys? If we can’t make a change then why are we asking? e.g. Pay!
  • Engage frontline staff by letting them have a say in change! Work out the things the programme team need to decide on and then let employees make suggestions for everything else
  • In absence of communication you always think negatively, give managers something to say even if it’s not positive/detailed

Once the discussion came to an end, we headed to the pub (as all good events should) and the discussion carried on into the evening. I’d personally like to thank everyone who came and made my first Ask the Guru so enjoyable!

The next session will be on Social Media in October, so keep an eye out for more details and let me know if you think you can be a Guru!

Finally, for all you northerners out there (of which I’m one) we’ve not forgotten about you and I’m looking to hold a couple of Guru’s further north than Watford over the next year.

If you have any suggestions then please get in touch with me on twitter @steve_murg

You can hear Cathy Brown from Engage for Success discuss the importance of employee voice and a host of experts at our conference on 2 October. Read more about it here.


Image credit: Splashbase


One Comment

  1. This comment is based on my personal experience.If you are really engaged at work then every obstacle will become an opportunity for growth!

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