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Gallup CEO: Managers are key for communication success

Clear messaging and communication are crucial to keeping everyone aligned, engaged, and informed along the way — but an often overlooked group key to cascading information is managers.

  • Why it matters: Employees are 2.8 times more likely to be engaged at work when they regularly talk to their manager about goals and successes.

Jon Clifton, CEO of Gallup, called communication with managers “the glue within an organization” during a recent event discussing strategies for stronger employee engagement with Axios HQ CEO Roy Schwartz.

The right managers strengthen internal communication

Managers quickly align employees around key objectives by cascading the info employees need to know to get their jobs done. And through Gallup’s research, they saw an increase in employees thriving at work as a result of individuals feeling like their immediate supervisor or manager was keeping them informed on what’s going on throughout the organization.  

  • “That kind of corporate communication, especially when it comes from your direct manager or supervisor, is critical.”

But not every manager is equipped to lead others well. To ensure you’ve got the best managers in place and that they have the internal communication strategies they need to succeed, Jon recommends:

  1. Acknowledge the importance of management: Managers hold teams together, advance resiliency, and are among the fastest communicators within an organization. Knowing their worth helps highlight how critical it is to find the right person for the role. 

  2. Offer training: “What many don't realize is that there are still critical aspects of learning and development in order for someone to truly become a great manager,” Jon said. Provide training opportunities early on so managers grow their skills as they grow their teams. And remind colleagues often of what opportunities for growth they have available to them. 

  3. Screen for natural talent: Not everyone will make a good manager, and it’s not enough to assume someone who is good at their individual role will automatically be a good team leader. Look instead for candidates who are instinctively good at closing gaps, recognizing individuals, and being a team player.

The bottom line: Take the time to not only seek out good candidates, but to enable your managers to be great communicators. They are the ones who will keep everyone moving in the same direction.

Go deeper: The vital role managers play in communication, collaboration, and employee success

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