Employee Engagement: Convincing Line Managers | Qualtrics UK

How to engage (and win over) line managers with your employee engagement program

Line managers will be the people who help take actions on your engagement survey, so enabling them to do this is essential. Find out how to engage them

Once the engagement survey results are in, a number of line managers will have access to their team’s results and you’ll be relying on them to discuss them with the team and help drive improvements.

Getting their buy-in and making sure they’re primed and ready to take action is key if you’re going to improve engagement once the results come in.

Why they’ll care

They’ll want to know how their teams are really feeling and will hopefully see the exercise as a chance to increase their team’s performance. They’ll also likely (and understandably) want their team to look good internally so will be hoping for good results.

How to use them

Most of your contact with line managers will come in the reporting phase as they access their team’s reports and help drive improvements as a result of the feedback.

Line managers can also be useful in the administration phase to help drive responses from their teams and also to reinforce key messages with employees, particularly around their anonymity.

Line managers can help you drive responses from their teams and also put any improvement actions in place once you have the results

What they’ll want to see

They’ll want to see positive responses that reflect well on them as a manager and also a good response rate (ideally 100%) from their teams. They’ll also hope that once the results are in, the actions will drive improvements in their team.

What keeps them up at night

Negative feedback, particularly if it relates to them will be a worry – even more so if it’s going to be seen by the executive team. They’ll worry too about having to potentially have difficult conversations with their team should they get negative responses back.

Line managers worry most about the things that reflect on them like negative feedback from their teams and having difficult conversations once the results are in

How to manage your line managers

  • Education – give them the tools they need to understand the report and have a conversation about it with their team. Don’t assume this comes naturally to every manager

  • Explain their role – they are there to facilitate action planning for their team, not lead it

  • Emphasise the importance of accurate feedback – it’s important they don’t see it as a competition with other line managers to get the best scores and that they understand poor ratings represent opportunities to eventually improve engagement rather than being a ‘witch hunt’

  • Get them started on action – give them practical guides and tips to taking action on survey results to get them started from looking at data to making positive changes