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How motivational is individual attention from bosses?

Across every industry, employees interact and work with disparate types of supervisors who manage teams in very different ways. From uptight to laid back, upper management types come in a wide array of shapes and sizes. But one factor remains constant for all: Paying attention to and engaging employees improves productivity and retention.

Without making the extra effort to interact with staff, managers take a chance at losing their workers' loyalty and commitments to the company. In time, this disengagement could lead the way to sudden employee turnover.

Paying attention improves overall engagement
At times, managers rack their brains trying to develop effective strategies for getting workers more invested in the company and its mission and values. These brainstorming sessions often give way to lavish plans, such as employee appreciation days or black tie events, with the hope that staff morale gets a much needed boost. But sometimes, this can be construed as overdoing it - not to mention abundantly expensive. Rather, merely paying attention to employees can go a long way in motivating them to complete projects as efficiently as possible.

"24% of employees work harder after receiving individual attention from their bosses."

According to a recent survey from ProOpinion, 24 percent of responding workers felt that individual attention from their bosses keeps them motivated at work. This kind of simple solution to employee burnout and long hours can be integral to ensuring further successes down the road. But is it just a matter of patting someone on the back for a job well done, or should executives do more to acknowledge the efforts of hard-working staff members?

Getting employees to go the extra mile
An argument can be made that targets the modern workplace as a new deterrent to employee engagement. Laptops, smartphones and other devices have become so ubiquitous in 21st century offices that managers may have a hard time directly communicating with employees. As a result, praise is often handed out through company-wide email blasts. While these acknowledgements are well intended, it's entirely possible that workers view them as overly impersonal. In fact, whose to say the messages themselves were even personalized in the first place?

If employees misinterpret the nature behind these praises, their productivity might suffer due to poor morale. These disengaged workers could begin to only do the bare minimum required to hold the position, choosing to not extend themselves above and beyond the parameters of the role. However, this shouldn't serve as a bearing for maintaining employment - unenthusiastic workers are primed for engagement through renewed efforts from managers.

Coaching and feedback motivate employees to work more efficiently.Coaching and feedback motivate employees to work more efficiently.

For example, increasing the frequency of personal meetings with team members can find new ways to improve employee morale, Ivey Business Journal explained. Employees can sometimes feel like they're coasting by unnoticed by management because they rarely - or never - sit down with supervisors. These meetings may serve to engage some stragglers to review their commitments in the company. It's important that managers encourage discussions about important assignments, but they should also field any feedback regarding existing issues with workloads, life balance, compensation and so on.

Avoiding employee burnout, turnover
There can be several reasons why workers move on from organizations, including enticing job offers or declining productivity. But supervisors never want to hear that employees left due to breakdowns in management efficiencies. According to the American Society of Association Executives, a lack of coaching or nonexistent feedback avenues may lead some team members, especially younger generations, to jump ship for other ventures.

Failing to provide clear, consistent and helpful feedback to individuals can create a direct line to performance issues with workers. If someone feels like his or her work isn't being acknowledged - either positively or negatively - by managers, he or she may stop trying to impress the bosses. While Harvard Business Review explained that this might be a fault of poor training for managers, that doesn't mean supervisors can't learn how to coach employees to give it their all.

To combat the risks of employee burnout and massive turnovers, managers should find new ways to engage all employees. For example, meeting with every worker throughout the quarter to gain perspectives on various issues could instill a sense of confidence in their opinions and efforts. By collaborating on problems, supervisors and employees can merge solutions into a partnership of problem-solving. Together, these disparate ideas could become valuable opportunities to fix long-dormant headaches for companies.

At the end of the day, managers should realize there will never be a one-size-fits-all solution for engaging employees. Every organization is different from the next, so how these interactions are conducted will vary from one another. Current processes should be reviewed and revamped according to industry trends so as to ensure workers know their work is being acknowledged.

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