Empowering employees through engaging leadership

Empowering employees through engaging leadership

24 Apr 2019

Altura Learning United Kingdom

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This informal CPD article on empowering employees through engaging leadership was provided by Altura Learning, leaders in delivering the highest quality learning to those working in or aspiring to work in the health and social care sectors. Altura are a Centre of Excellence with Skills for Care and provide learning to over 125,000 learners, working with over 50 industry experts to deliver over 100 online courses to support organisations training goals and requirements.

Leadership: Engaging your team

One of our most popular courses is ‘Leadership: Engaging your team’, supported by Karen Slater, Regional Director at MHA. The charity provides care, accommodation and support services for more than 17,000 older people throughout Britain, with 7,000 staff and 5,500 volunteers. With a background in leadership and managing culture changes across a variety of settings, Karen plays a key role in promoting MHA’s employee engagement scheme and is a passionate advocate for engaging leadership. Karen has worked with us to produce the course ‘Leadership: Engaging your team’ and offers some valid advice for managers to help engage their teams.

What is employee engagement and engaging leadership?

Employee engagement is the extent to which employees feel passionate about their jobs, are committed to the organization, and put discretionary effort into their work. Employee engagement is based on trust, integrity and two way commitment and communication between an organisation and its staff wherever they work. Leadership is the ability to build and maintain a high performing team. Engagement is the tie that binds the leader to a high performing team. Engaging leadership creates the conditions in which employees can fully contribute to the success of both the quality of care delivered and the financial effectiveness of the organisation. Great leaders engage employees and harness their energy to perform to their highest ability. Engaging leaders empower their teams.

What are the benefits to engaging your team?

The importance of employee engagement can’t be overstated, and when done properly, can have a real impact on your organisation. An engaged team is stronger and is better equipped to handle difficult situations should they arise. With employee engagement it generally means that staff are happy in their work, they feel like they are empowered and listened to and they look forward to coming to work. This generally means greater employee retention and lower recruitment costs. Happy employees mean they will want to do a great job and often there will be an increase in productivity. Overall, the work environment will be a stronger, committed and happier one than a disengaged team.

Why employee engagement is important for registered managers

Employee engagement will leave your employees feeling positive and empowered and leaving them wanting to do their best in their roles and to deliver the best possible care. At MHA, employee engagement is taken very seriously, and to show their employees they are listening to their feedback, an anonymous staff satisfaction survey is run regularly. In the survey, employees can let management know exactly how they feel about the work they do. They are asked:

  • Do you have the tools to do your job?
  • Do you feel supported by your line manager?
  • Do you feel recognised by your line manager?
  • Do you feel you get the opportunity to learn and develop in your role?

What are the skills and attitudes required to make a good leader?

Firstly, Karen points out that we should welcome the leader and make them feel engaged and wanted within the organisation. Once they are engaged and feel valued by their team, then they can empower them. A leader isn’t necessarily born a leader and someone can become a leader if they have the right attributes. Karen argues that a leader will need to have an intrinsic interest in people to succeed, a passion to want to know and empower people. As well as this quality, they will need to be able to manage the everyday scenarios. They must have a stable head for policy, legal and health and safety and know what to do and how to react in an emergency. A good leader will bring people with them by coaching and nurturing them and making them feel empowered.

Karen shares with us some key points to remember when instilling engagement into your team.

Top tips for engaging your team through leadership

1) Meaningful conversations – these don’t always have to be formal meetings. Often informal encounters acknowledging staff contributions in a public space, can be a sign of an engaging leader. Within the course content, a great example of a really engaging leader is Kate Price, previously Manager at Willowcroft, now promoted to Area Support Manager. She achieved an incredible 93% in her emotional engagement score in her survey. Kate continuously takes the time to listen and acknowledge employee contributions and actively lets her team know when they are doing a great job as well as when they are not. Her score shows that her team love coming to work for her.

2) Active listening – this is not just hearing what your employees have to say, but actively responding and listening to them, being there in the moment. A leader will show they are listening by making eye contact and really engaging with the team member, as well as nodding and using hand gestures to show they are engaged.

3) Formal meetings – as a leader, it is important to make sure these interactions with your employees happen on a regular basis. A formal meeting should be scheduled in a few days before the desired date, with a formal venue, date and time. There should be no surprises in the meeting and an agenda should be circulated prior to the meeting. The meeting is a chance for both parties to review performance, put forward any concerns and to discuss next steps and future plans. The meeting should be conducted in a quiet place and the leader should make sure there are no interruptions.

A really useful acronym to help managers highlight the key points to engagement is below:


L- Look – make sure you look your colleague in the eye and make natural eye contact.
I – Interruptions – try and minimise these as much as possible.
S – Summarise regularly, you both need to be clear on action points.
T – Time – should be sufficient and not rushed
E – Encourage the person to talk freely and openly
N – Nurture – make sure you nurture an environment of trust and two way communication

4) Effective feedback – give an example of the behaviour that has been brought to your attention. State the effect of the behaviour on your colleagues, and then outline what you would like to see more or less of. Effective feedback does not always have to be negative. Feedback praising a team members excellent performance is also feedback and is always nice to hear.

Confident communication, active listening, effective feedback and formal meetings all create the right environment for an engaged team and are the recipe for your success. In the words of Karen Slater ‘working with an engaged, high performing team is the most rewarding thing of all’.

We hope this article was helpful. For more information from Altura Learning please visit their CPD Member Directory page. Alternatively, please visit the CPD Industry Hubs for more CPD articles, courses and events relevant to your Continuing Professional Development requirements.

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Altura Learning United Kingdom

Altura Learning United Kingdom

For more information from Altura Learning United Kingdom, please visit their CPD Member Directory page. Alternatively please visit the CPD Industry Hubs for more CPD articles, courses and events relevant to your Continuing Professional Development requirements.

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