Good Leadership – It’s About Being Engaged

Managers believe that it is enough to show up and be seen, but then this is why I refer to them as managers and not leaders. Leadership requires more than just showing up, it requires engagement; but if a manager doesn’t know what engagement looks like chances are they are missing opportunities to move from manager to leader.

In a recent Gallup article by Randall Beck and Jim Harter, they state that only 30% of U.S. employees are engaged and cite managers for being the primary cause. While every manager may not be a great leader it would be remiss to assume they don’t want to be and it is more likely that they don’t know how to be a great leader.

So what is a manager to do? Here are some simple things they can start doing right away to be more engaged.

Say good morning. When is the last time you walked around and said good morning to all of your employees? It seems simple, and it is, yet many leaders come in and head straight for their office. If you can do it every day great, if not, try for once a week. If you say “Good morning, have a great day.” It will have an amazing effect on your employees.

Recognize and Compliment. Don’t assume your employees know they are doing a good job; tell them! Look for opportunities to recognize the contributions your employees make to the organization and not just the big ones, the small ones count too. Remember, no news is not always good news.

Meet one on one. If there is one thing you need to start doing if you’re not already is to meet with your employee’s one on one. Have them schedule 15-30 minutes with you weekly, bi-weekly or monthly. Make the time about them, not you by always asking questions like “What are you working on; what are your roadblocks, what can I do for you; what should I stop doing.”

Walk around and ask questions. I don’t mean “what are you working on” or “what the status of X project is”, ask questions to make a personal connection. “How was your weekend ”,“How are your kids/spouse/significant other”. Leaders need to be seen and that lends itself to making personal connections with your employees. As with number one, you may not be able to do it every day but you should do it at least once a week. Put it on your calendar.

Listen more, talk less. You cannot speak and listen at the same time, listening takes effort and focus. Apply this to 1-4 and you will be well on your way to better engagement with your employees.

Remember that if you want to have engaged employees you have to be an engaged leader.

The more engaged you are with them, the more engaged they will be and the less likely they are to leave you and the organization.


Anthony T. Eaton
Anthony T. Eaton
ANTHONY is a seasoned, certified Human Resources professional with more than twenty years of experience working in a range of industries including non-profit, banking, utilities and government. In addition, he is an accomplished leader and author with a passion for personal and professional leadership and development. Believing that every person has the opportunity and potential to lead, his focus is on helping others be the best leaders they can no matter who they are or position they hold. In 2013 Anthony took his leadership message online with a blog. Initially posting an inspirational quote of the day he then began doing interviews with a wide range of individuals from diverse background about their personal journey, leadership experiences, and thoughts. In 2015 he created a website and added feature articles, a second interview series WOMEN ON LEADERSHIP along with a book review. In 2016 he published his first book LEADERSHIP CONVERSATIONS, a series of interviews on leadership and more. Anthony’s purpose is to inspire and motivate others by initiating conversations about what it means to be a leader in the broadest sense of the word.

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  1. The manager is responsible for people and ensures that employees reach and meet certain parameters: objectives, processes, procedures, demands, standards, internal regulations. To do so, he/she must be present, When he/she interacting with hie/her team members, pay attention and focus on the conversations and dynamics. Listen to what matters to his/her employees and let them know that he/she is actually hearing and considering what they’re saying. If he/she is distracted or unfocused, he/she risks making them feel like you’re insincere, which will erode trust.
    The emotional involvement, always commensurate with the situations, is essential to make the team understand the professional passion that, in every moment of the work path, it is necessary to put in place to get the maximum.