Teams and the engaging manager

Tamkin P, Robinson D | Report 491 | Institute for Employment Studies | Jun 2012

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This report is part of The Engaging Manager Series, which follows up IES report 470, The Engaging Manager. Each short report in the Engaging Manager series explores different aspects of engaging management.

This report explores the experiences and views of engaged teams, drawing on the findings from in-depth discussions with team members.

Teams that score highly on engagement attribute their high score to team spirit, with the line manager an important part of its creation. Engaging managers improve performance through praise, getting ‘stuck in’ when needed, and encouraging ideas. They give their teams a strategic focus, letting individuals know the part they could play, and are good coaches, mentors and developers. They help their teams through change and create an open, blame-free atmosphere.

Finding the right balance between autonomy and support is crucial: teams value being left to get on with their jobs, while being supported if required.

This report explores what teams particularly value in a manager, and how engaging managers encourage teams to put in greater effort. It also gives some helpful leadership tips: what is effective team management behaviour, and what is best avoided?