Unlock the manager channel to drive growth

African woman talking with her team

It’s no secret that communication skills are a must-have for managers. In fact, 93% of job descriptions list it as a requirement or preference according to Indeed. And when managers are equipped with skills and tools to have meaningful conversations with their teams, those companies realize a 70% employee engagement score. Yet, to put the power of communication to work, you need to provide the keys to unlock the manager channel.

So, why are 59% of the world’s employees quiet quitting?

Let’s start with what you already know. As reinforced in Integral’s Employee Activation Index, employees are a diverse population. They show up with needs and attitudes that vary by age, race/ethnicity, gender, political philosophy, generation and more. In the past, employers could deliver messages that focused on what employees had in common. Today, organizations have to relate to and reach each employee.

As leaders and communicators, we can send emails to target groups, build interest-based spaces on the intranet or post infographics and blogs to tell our stories en masse. Engaging employees, however, comes down to delivering timely, relevant and authentic messaging through a person’s manager.

The key to unlocking the manager channel

I’m certain that organizations are continuing to build and deliver leadership training; I’ve been through a few myself. What we are talking about here, however, is giving managers the opportunity to develop as leaders and build teams that deliver business outcomes.

Consider this – Integral found that while managers are more aligned with the organization than non-managers, only 43% of them agree that the best days are ahead. What’s more, only 20% of non-managers would say the same. It’s obvious, right? There’s work to do to value, empower and enable managers so that they can motivate and inspire the organization.

This isn’t about unquantifiable communication tools. It’s about building a collaborative, measurable system that elevates and enables the most critical channel in an organization.

Igniting your manager channel

A sustainable manager communication framework unlocks the manager channel to drive growth. The framework provides guidance to understand and leverage thinking styles and behaviors to help managers better craft and deliver relevant messages. It starts by helping them uncover their most authentic communication approach, guiding them to continuously understand the needs of their audience at a point in time and arming them with the tools and resources to align to the company’s mission.

The framework is customized by organization and team, but typically includes four phases:

  1. Assessment
    Uncover both individual strengths and those across a peer group. Conduct one-on-one coaching sessions. Integrate engagement survey results to highlight areas of opportunity. Gather input from managers’ teams.

  2. Workshop
    Embed key communication skills for tailoring messages. Build processes around individual strengths. Practice skills. Create dashboards and accountability.

  3. Embed
    Craft a process for manager-exclusive resources and opportunities for best practice sharing. Share ongoing communication templates and messaging. Create a continuous dialogue with leadership to build trust and clarity.

  4. Measure and Adapt
    Incorporate metrics to gauge progress at the individual and organizational levels. Test and learn based on dashboard and employee feedback.

Ultimately, meaningful employee engagement hinges on the quality of relationships between employees and their organization, most often fostered by managers. It’s essential that managers have a deep understanding of their own style and communication strengths to be able to lead and motivate teams. Unlocking the manager channel by equipping them with the space to learn and resources to act creates the foundation for ongoing growth for both managers and business.

Bottom line, enabling managers as communicators has the potential to unleash all employees by engaging those who hold the keys.

Integral can help

Managers have an outsized impact on improving your culture and communications. Integral can help you unlock the manager channel. Carolina has taken a holistic approach to driving increased employee engagement at multiple organizations by enabling managers as communicators.

Wanna talk? Let us know!

Carolina Mata
Senior Advisor
Carolina builds brands and drives growth through employee-led cultural evolution and compelling experiences.