As a manager, your employee’s performance, their level of engagement, as well as whether they remain with the company or not rests in your hands.

Gallup research demonstrates the criticality of managers as they reveal at least 70 percent of an employee’s engagement variance comes from the manager. And just to hammer this statistic home, they also state that one in two employees left a job because of their boss!

These statistics are not intended to leave you feeling overwhelmed rather it is to reveal how vital you are to your employees and your company.

At some level, you know this, and yet, your overflowing, fire-fighting “to-do” list often takes precedence over your time and attention. Balancing the urgent and your people may appear to be an impossible commission, but rest assured you’re up to the task.

M-E-N-T-O-R is a mnemonic created to support you owning the heart of the leadership/management success equation—your employees.

Measure for what is working and acknowledge it every chance you get.

As Liz Wiseman, author of Multipliers, How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter, establishes through her research: “Leaders who use their intelligence to amplify the smarts and capabilities of people around them….inspire employees to stretch themselves to deliver results that surpass expectations.”

Empathize by first understanding their position before sharing yours.

The Center for Creative Leadership’s research concludes the act of understanding others is a high-level skill of effective leaders which fosters improved results. They also found: empathic emotions as rated from the leader’s subordinates positively predicts job performance ratings from the leader’s boss.

New viewpoint is the instrument for any shift in perspective—yours and theirs.

If either consciously or unconsciously you remain locked in a rigid mindset, you harm the creativity of the group. It is your job to honor the diverse thinking of everyone to produce meaningful and profitable outcomes.

Trust is fundamental to developing productive business relationships.

Building a powerful workforce starts with demonstrating unswerving confidence in your employees. Keep in mind, with your words and actions you create an unspoken contract that both values people and generates trust—or not.

Openness and vulnerability are keys to generating a listening environment.

You set the stage for your employees as a leader/manager by authentically modeling an “explorer looking for gold” in others. So, genuinely listen to hear the meaning behind the thinking of your people before ever introducing your ideas. It may just transform your team into an innovative idea generating machine.

Respect—you for them, they for you—creates an environment everyone desires.

The reality is no one positively responds to and incorporates new ideas without having faith in the speaker. And the only way people learn to respect you is when they know you not only by your thoughts but also by the reliability of your actions.

Your challenge as a leader/manager is to unlock, train, and encourage each of the valuable human talent entrusted to you.

M-E-N-T-O-R-ing is a proven skill that produces results. It can’t be an occasional happenstance activity squeezed in between your “real” work. It is an everyday commitment to your employees, which leads to cultivating a fully empowered, effective, and valued team ready to produce powerful results no matter what challenges they face.


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