Supporting line managers to foster engagement
This briefing paper, produced by IES on behalf of NHS Employers, offers guidance to HR and senior leaders in the NHS on how line managers can relate to their direct reports in an engaging, motivating manner.
The paper draws on IES' research on employee engagement and the experiences of the author, IES principal associate, Dilys Robinson, when delivering training sessions on the topic of engaging management to line managers in NHS trusts.
The paper identifies the key challenges facing line managers in the NHS, with regards to employee engagement. From workloads and targets, to line management reporting and the large numbers of reportees that some managers in the NHS have, the paper highlights the competing pressures facing these managers, many of whom have not entered the NHS with the aim of becoming a manager.
In response to these challenges, the paper suggests how some pressure may be alleviated, through, for example, training which focuses on the positive aspects of engagement over training on reporting or performance review timetables. Such training may focus instead on engaging behaviours and how to develop a coaching style.
Beyond other solutions to line management challenges, the paper offers some areas that could be explored in order to foster greater sharing of learning on employee engagement across line managers, such as forums or buddying.