Managers play a pivotal role in employee engagement and retention. In fact, employees who recommend their manager are more engaged, more likely to stay with their organization, and more likely to have clarity about their company’s strategy, according to the State of the Manager 2021, a report co-sponsored by Glint and LinkedIn Learning

And employee engagement supports bigger business goals. The Harvard Business Review reports that an engaged employee is 45% more productive than a worker who is merely satisfied. According to Gartner, high employee engagement correlates with higher net profit margin, customer satisfaction, and earnings per share.

So how can organizations nurture inspiring and effective managers? Glint People Scientist Ed Hurst and LinkedIn Learning Senior Director Amy Borsetti discuss this topic in an on-demand webinar, The People Success Advantage: Boosting Manager Effectiveness. Here are their top three takeaways:

1. Help managers develop with feedback from multiple sources.

Managers need candid feedback to remain self-aware and to act on opportunities to learn and to grow. “Open, honest and constructive feedback is crucial,” Borsetti says.

She recommends two approaches: 

  • Periodic short surveys, known as “pulses,” provide managers with dynamic insights about the sentiments and needs of their teams.
  • 360-degree reviews solicit ratings and opinions from above (the leader), the side (peers) and below (direct reports)

These tools help managers identify blind spots and understand what skills they need to develop so they can better serve their teams, their customers and the overall business.

2. Help managers learn with opportunities to master new skills.

Companies that encourage managers to learn and develop new skills tend to be more agile and will have a competitive advantage in the marketplace, Borsetti notes.

That’s because jobs are changing rapidly. The World Economic Forum predicts that 85 million jobs will be displaced and 97 million new ones created by 2025. Reflecting this reality, learning and development pros ranked “upskilling and reskilling” as their top priority for 2021, according to LinkedIn Learning’s 2021 Workplace Learning Report

Fortunately, most managers embrace learning and development. Those who feel they have room to learn are 3.4x more likely to be engaged and 3.2x more likely to say they will probably be with their company in two year’s time. 

3. Help managers act with empowerment to make decisions.

Allowing managers to act with wisdom and in a way that builds team productivity will pay off, Hurst advises. That’s because managers who feel empowered to make decisions are 3x more likely to be engaged themselves, according to The State of the Manager 2021

The report recommends four ways senior leaders can better empower managers:

  • Collaborate with managers to help prioritize their work;
  • Clear roadblocks;
  • Connect managers with others to help them build their networks;
  • And communicate frequently to make any necessary adjustments.

Final thought: Remember that managers are the linchpin to success

Business disruption is acting as a catalyst for an important idea: organizations succeed when their people succeed. And the most important role for helping every person achieve their best work is clear—their manager.

It’s also worth noting that when organizations combine the three tips shared here—supporting managers with feedback, learning, and empowerment—these steps offer a one-two-three punch of enhanced impact. 

To further explain, feedback leads to learning; learning leads to action; and action fuels engagement in a virtuous circle of continuous improvement. In this way, managers who are well-supported can have a positive ripple effect across their organizations.

Want to dive deeper into these ideas? Watch the full 30-minute webinar.