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Managers create such strong team cultures that they gain an organization-wide reputation as the place to work.
Managers who are cultural stewards for the organization view their staff as a system resource. These managers invest in developing and engaging their staff. They actively look for opportunities for staff to contribute to other areas of the organization, even if that ultimately means a strong performer leaves their team to work elsewhere within the system.
Managers confidently handle the vast majority of instances where their staff are not contributing to the desired culture and rarely rely on HR as a go-between.
Ensure your leadership development programs equip leaders with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed, and also help them develop the right attitudes about what it means to be a leader at your organization.
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Managers have meaningful interactions with every direct report.
Managers can be powerful role models of the culture you are trying to build. However, you may need to adjust a manager's role to enable a deliberate focus on building and supporting team culture and engagement.
For instance, nurse managers often have particularly unwieldy roles. Here are two ways to free up their time.
One option is to subdivide large units into smaller "microsystems." Microsystem leaders (often given the title "assistant nurse manager") own all people-management responsibilities for staff in their microsystem, alleviating pressure on unit managers.
Another option is to deploy specialists to help managers with discrete tasks, such as data analysis.
For more ideas, read "Strategy 2: Reallocate Staffing Resources to Better Support Managers" from pages 29 to 38 of our study "Drive Organizational Change - Without Overloading Managers."