According to Gallup CEO Jim Clifton, “The single biggest decision you make in your job—bigger than all the rest—is who you name manager.” And for good reason.
Managers today account for 70% of the variance in employee engagement, with good managers having the ability to improve morale, increase productivity, and improve performance. In addition, a well-trained manager knows how to mobilize their employees and leverage employee strengths to meet company goals.
It makes sense, then, that developing these great managers should be a top priority for every company. And one of the best tools for doing so may be an unexpected one: their corporate wellness program.
6 Wellness Challenges for Developing Managerial Skills
How does a manager usually come to be? In many cases, companies take individual contributors, promote them to management, and send them on their way.
If they’re lucky, these new managers might get a bit of management training, but rarely much more than that. Will they turn out to be great managers? Maybe, maybe not. What many companies don’t understand is that developing an effective leadership style and understanding how to manage a group of employees are learned skills—not behaviors that happen overnight.
Think of it like this: Becoming a great leader is not unlike becoming healthy. Managers must build one healthy managerial habit at a time. And as they improve their skills and become better at their jobs, they’ll see a cascading positive effect in the work environment.
Ready to start creating amazing leadership? Here are six of our wellness challenges that help companies foster more effective management.
1. Delegate 10
One thing that can be hard for managers to do is delegate tasks. Many managers tend to keep too many tasks on their own plate, thinking it’s easier to simply do it themselves rather than coach an employee through the project.
Encourage managers to find 10 tasks they can delegate to others on their team. Not only will it free the manager to focus on more important tasks, but it also creates opportunities for employees to learn a new skill, take on additional responsibilities, and increase their on-the-job satisfaction.
2. Walk Around
Too many managers spend their days locked in their offices or secluded in conference rooms, oblivious to what’s going on in the cubicles around them.
Managers should take at least 15 minutes out of their day to walk around the office to visit with employees and check in on how things are going. What are the employees’ workloads like? What challenges are they facing? Are they looking to take on new projects? Making regular check-ins can help address issues before they become problems.
3. Take It Outdoors
If an employee needs to schedule a one-on-one with a manager, see if it can turn into a walking meeting. Taking the time to get moving outdoors isn’t just good exercise, but it can also relax the environment of the meeting and make employees more receptive to coaching and feedback.
Six Elements of Great Leadership
- Purpose—leaders thrive when they have a sense of purpose.
- Communication— everything runs more smoothly when people communicate with each other.
- Mastery—we all want to get better, and when we do, we’re happier at work.
- Collaboration—working with others is more satisfying and creates better results.
- Environment—the workplace’s physical and procedural structures set the tone for doing business.
- Relationships—social interaction is critical to health and emotional well-being.
4. Supporting Pillar
In this challenge, managers are encouraged to ask five people how the manager can best support them in the next 30 days. Ask questions like, “What can I do to help you do your job better?” Or “How can I make your life a little easier?”
Chances are, employees won’t approach managers with these kinds of requests on their own, so making the offer is a simple way to get some useful information while also showing employees they’re appreciated and valued.
5. Vital Statistics
Get feedback from employees by surveying larger groups about a range of topics, like how meetings are run, what could improve the work employees do, or what changes they’d like to see in the workplace. Not only will managers gain useful insights to help them improve the business, but they’ll also get hard data that can be used in the future to support other efforts.
6. Drill Down
What do employees actually do on a day-to-day basis? Learn more about what three of your employees do in their jobs by shadowing them as they perform their daily tasks. Might it be a little bit awkward? Maybe. But learning more about employees’ roles can give managers a broader view of their processes, learn how their decisions affect their team, and find ways to make tasks easier and more productive.
97 Other Ways to Build Manager Wellness
Your company’s wellness program can do far more than improve your employees’ emotional and physical health and well-being. It can also help your managers become better leaders and your employees become more effective, dedicated workers.
Encourage your managers to start implementing any of the 103 challenges for manager-led wellness today. By doing so, they can build the management skills and employee trust that will improve the wellness of the entire organization.