Developing Your Talent

Develop Your Talent

Why Female Managers Drive Greater Employee Engagement

By James Greenway on November 13, 2014

Who’s better at engaging their employees—men or women? Does gender make a difference in manager effectiveness? A new Gallup study of American workers found that employees with female managers are more engaged than those with male managers. The study also showed that female managers themselves have higher levels of engagement than their male counterparts. And because managers are responsible for at least 70% of their employees’ engagement, it stands to reason that the higher engagement of female managers leads to higher-performing, more engaged teams. If companies increase their number of talented managers and double the rate of engaged employees, Gallup estimates they can achieve an average of 147% higher earnings per share than their competition.

While the study identifies the key areas where female managers excel, basically these characteristics are the hallmarks of great managers regardless of gender. Based on Gallup’s results, here are three ways effective female managers inspire their employees:

  • They develop their employees. According to the survey, female managers are more likely to offer their employees professional development opportunities and stretch assignments that improve performance in their job and prepare them for others on the horizon. This creates an optimistic vision for their future.
  • They provide regular feedback. Female managers tend to more consistent in their feedback, frequently checking in with employees to determine their progress and ensure they have adequate resources. Through these conversations, female managers provide ongoing feedback that’s aligned with individual development goals.
  • They understand the impact of positive reinforcement. The survey found that female managers are more likely than males to develop relationships with their team members and—through the power of positive feedback—create a culture where each employee feels valued.

Again, these characteristics are not exclusive to female managers. Rather, they’re simply good management strategies that improve engagement and lead to higher-performing work groups. The major takeaway of the study for senior leadership is this: engagement in the management ranks cannot be overlooked. The trickle-down effect of management engagement can have a profound impact on the bottom line—for better or worse.

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