16 January 2012

Management communications

Manager engagement holds the key to motivated employees


Your managers are the people that know employees the best and understand what motivates them on a daily basis. According to research, employees are more likely to trust their direct line manager than senior leaders. Yet fewer than 50% of managers are able to effectively motivate and engage employees in times of change*.


So, it’s important that organisations recognise the vital role managers play in motivating employees and equip them with the tools, training and support they need to achieve this.


Be open and build trust

When line managers openly talk through company plans, employees are more likely to feel motivated and committed. Senior leaders need to build the trust of managers by providing consistent, honest and clear information about the direction of the business – this will give managers the confidence to cascade information with a deeper understanding about why and what this means to the business and their teams.


Speak to managers – find out what will help them

It’s easy to assume your current communication channels are working because it’s the way you’ve always done things. Speak to managers across the business and find out what their challenges are, what’s working and what’s not. Always obtain their feedback on new initiatives. This will give you insight into how you support them in communicating with and motivating employees.


Inspire managers to be creative

‘Death by Powerpoint’ is simply no longer acceptable! It’s time to inspire managers and encourage them to think differently about team meetings and the way they communicate with employees. Providing a creative toolkit with suggestions for team activities is a great way to achieve this – activities that promote informal, open dialogue are more likely to engage and encourage participation. Storytelling also has high engagement success rates, by empowering managers and demonstrating how personal contribution can make a difference.


Supporting behaviour change

Equipping managers with toolkits and guides won’t always cut the mustard. After all, “it’s not what you say that matters but the manner in which you say it”. Coaching managers to facilitate good conversations and improve their communication skills will not only ensure toolkits are put to good use but help create an organisation with great people managers… and that leads to a motivated workforce.



Top of the class

  • Aviva took the time to understand – extensive research with managers, benchmarking against others and uncovering clear trends helped Aviva transform what they’re doing for people managers.


  • BP recognised the importance of training – equipping managers to hold productive conversations with their teams.


  • Nationwide used innovative storytelling – to help communicate a major restructure and articulate the context for change.


  • Ageas introduced communication toolkits. Useful online tools for creative team activities with advice for managers works well.


  • Bank of America introduced huddles – these convey information to shift workers quickly and efficiently.



Let Synergy help you. From creative toolkits to manager training, to cascading company stories, we’ve a great track record in successful manager engagement and communications.


Read more about Synergy work examples


Contact the Synergy team


Visit the Synergy internal comms hub


* Source: Melcrum


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