5 effective ways to engage your managers

By Tiffany Rowe

Engaged employees are more productive employees, and the best way to engage employees is to make them feel appreciated. Giving your employees time to express their emotions, space to feel comfortable, and custom gifts that make them feel special are simple ways to keep them involved and enthusiastic about your business.

But what about your managers? Their work contributes as directly to the success of your business as your workers’ efforts, but because managers typically earn higher salaries and better benefits, few business leaders consider managers’ need to feel wanted within the organization. If high employee turnover is management’s fault, higher management turnover must be your fault. Here are some ways you can fix it.

– Give your managers a clearly defined role

You give the orders, and the workers execute them – so what is a manager supposed to do? The role of middle management is vague in nearly all organizations, and it is up to upper management to define precisely what responsibilities managers maintain. Without a clear purpose to drive them, nearly every worker lapses into despondency and unproductivity, and managers are no exception.

To prevent your managers from disengaging, your first step should be to outline what it is they are supposed to do, both in daily duties and for the bigger, broader success of the organization. You should consider what your business needs from its middle management as well as what middle managers need from your business. It might be useful to develop a talent profile for middle managers, which will explain their function and sketch out ideal qualities and experience for future manager hiring.

– Bestow managers with appropriate authority

When your organization lacks a clear role for managers, not only do managers become listless, but they quickly lose their subordinates’ respect. Most workers are sharp-witted enough to detect a lack of authority in their direct superior, which will cause them to circumvent that manager to increase their productivity and earn respect from higher-ups.

If you don’t want to be bogged down in day-to-day concerns, you need to ensure your middle management team has enough agency to lead the troops. Unfortunately, respect is earned as much as it is demanded, which means your managers are personally responsible for obtaining some authority. For your part, you can give them autonomy in certain decision-making processes and consider their reports and suggestions.

– Encourage the development of management skills

Just because a worker shows incredible merit on the front lines doesn’t mean they will excel in a management position. Middle managers are unique employees in that they must have the skills of both workers and directors: They are closely involved in day-to-day projects, but as leaders, not workers.

Therefore, if you want your managers to feel comfortable and effective in their positions, you need to ensure they have the proper skills and knowledge. Transition training is essential for when a promotion brings a worker into middle management, but you might also support managers’ interest in advanced education, like MBA programs, perhaps through employer tuition assistance or other education benefits.

– Institute gift-giving and appreciation days

It isn’t appropriate for workers to shower their bosses with gifts all the time; it produces useless guilt in management and untenable expectations in subordinates. However, managers like to be shown gratitude, like anyone else, so it might be wise to institute a couple appreciation days throughout the year when workers can purchase gifts for bosses – especially those oft-ignored bosses in middle management. Boss’s Day lands on October 16, but you can plan a celebration for any time of the year within your organization.

– Build a culture of gratitude and honesty

How you, as the owner of your small business, behave dictates the culture of your workplace. If you refuse to relinquish control to middle managers, if you keep secrets and lack appreciation for those doing work within your organization, that is how your subordinates will act. Undoubtedly, middle managers bear the brunt of poor workplace cultures, as they receive derision and disrespect from the top as well as the bottom.

Thus, if you want a strong middle management, you must be prepared to build a strong company culture. Transparency and thanks are cornerstones of comfortable, contented workplaces, and these qualities come from you, not your management.


Tiffany Rowe is a leader in marketing authority; she prides herself in her ability to create and provide high quality content that audiences find valuable. She also enjoys connecting with other bloggers and collaborating for exclusive content in various niches. With many years of experience, Tiffany has found herself more passionate than ever to continue developing content and relationship across multiple platforms and audiences.

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