A recent survey conducted by employee recognition pioneer, Workhuman, highlights the significant influence of managers on workplace culture and employee engagement.

The study underscores the pivotal role of managers in fostering a positive work environment and supporting employees’ professional development.

According to the survey findings, senior management plays a central role in shaping company culture, with 42% of employees citing management as the most influential factor. Notably, 60% of respondents identified manager support as crucial for fostering a sense of belonging in the workplace. This emphasises the importance of managerial leadership in creating an inclusive and supportive atmosphere within organisations.

Managers Leading by Example

The survey revealed that employees often look to their managers for guidance on interpersonal conduct in the workplace, with 42% seeking cues on communication and colleague interactions from their managers. Additionally, 40% of respondents highlighted appreciation and recognition as vital for a positive workplace culture. These findings underscore the importance of managers modelling behaviours such as regular recognition and feedback to cultivate a culture of appreciation and psychological safety among employees.

Workhuman’s research also indicates that employees frequently turn to their managers for professional guidance, with 41% seeking advice from their manager compared to peers or mentors. This underscores the value employees place on personalised guidance from their managers in navigating their professional journeys and receiving performance feedback.

Dr Meisha-Ann Martin, Senior Director, People Analytics and Research at Workhuman, emphasised the multifaceted role of managers in driving culture and supporting employee development. She highlighted the significance of managers engaging with employees on an individual level, offering regular check-ins and authentic recognition to foster a positive company culture that attracts and retains top talent.

The survey findings underscore the critical importance of managerial leadership in shaping workplace culture and driving employee engagement and satisfaction. As organisations strive to create inclusive and supportive environments, prioritising managerial support and guidance emerges as a key strategy for achieving these goals.