Employee drivers – managers


Why your managers are key drivers to successful employee engagement

Employee engagement is driven by a range of controllable factors across the employee lifecycle. In fact, our research has shown 10 key drivers that you need to focus on to get both accurate and fair results when surveying your workforce.

Here, we are going to focus on one of these key drivers: managers.


Why are managers important for employee engagement?

As the primary point of contact for many of your employees and the organisation, line managers play a critical role in employee engagement. Managers who are supportive, communicative and who provide feedback help employees feel valued and connected to the organisation.

Managers are also responsible for setting goals, providing resources and removing barriers to success for their employees. When managers provide clear expectations and support their team members to achieve their goals, employees feel more engaged and motivated.

Managers also have a significant influence on the work environment and can create a positive or negative culture within their team. By fostering respect, trust and open communication, employees are more likely to enjoy coming to work.

How can managers build better employee engagement?

  1. Communicate regularly
    Communication is key to employee engagement. Managers who communicate regularly, through the most appropriate channels, with open and clear messages, are more likely to have more engaged team members.
  2. Set clear goals and expectations
    Managers who set clear expectations, goals and performance have the advantage. With everyone focused on the same direction, you’ll keep the organisation on track and motivate and align individual team members.
  3. Provide opportunities for growth and development
    Managers should be looking to support employees to learn new skills and develop professionally. This will help build engagement and boost the collective knowledge across the organisation – increasing opportunities for innovation.
  4. Recognise and reward good performance
    Employee recognition is not only an important element of effective management, it’s also another key driver of employee engagement and happiness. Organisations and managers who implement recognition initiatives are likely to have better-motivated employees who are encouraged to go above and beyond.
  5. Create a positive work environment
    Managers should strive to create a positive work environment that is supportive, respectful and inclusive. This can include encouraging open communication and addressing conflict quickly and fairly. Managers should also encourage healthy work-life balances for their team members, providing flexibility and support when needed. This helps employees feel valued and motivated to achieve their goals.
  6. Lead by example
    Managers should model the behaviours they want to see in their employees to help foster the right culture and attitudes amongst their team. This includes demonstrating strong work ethics, being proactive, communicating effectively, showing empathy and compassion, and being engaged themselves.

What happens to employee engagement when managers are not effective?

Good people management skills are crucial for creating a healthy work environment, driving employee engagement and ensuring organisational success. Sometimes, however, people become managers as they’re great at their job or next in line for promotion – not because they’re natural people managers.

If they don’t have effective people management skills, this can lead to low engagement across the team, reduced productivity, high absence rates, increased staff turnover and a wider negative culture across the organisation.

Engagement surveys will help HR teams identify managers who need additional support and training with employee engagement and action planning.

How can you track and boost employee engagement?

Managers play such a big part in determining a positive culture and overall organisational success, so how your employees feel about their line managers should be high on your list of priorities.


To find out just how engaged your managers and their teams are, WorkBuzz offers simple, flexible, customisable surveys that allow your organisation to gain confidential insights from your employees.

We have a whole bank of questions tailored to managers, as well as many other key drivers of employee engagement.

If you’re looking to start implementing employee engagement surveys or are reviewing your existing survey solution, get in touch and see how the WorkBuzz platform can help. Book a demo today or drop us a message: hello@workbuzz.com

Related content:

[eBook] Steering your leadership teams: A how to guide for HR

[ARTICLE] 3 ways to be a better manager – in good times and tough ones

[ARTICLE] 4 steps to help your managers increase team engagement

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