Managers are unprepared to support employees and drive employee engagement, a critical part of the job description at this stage of the pandemic.
This is according to data from the “Manager Empowerment Report,” from Achievers Workforce Institute. Based on a survey of 2,094 employed respondents, the report finds that less than half of managers (48%) have been trained in key areas such as one-to-one meetings, coaching, recognition, or professional development.
“With less than half of employers training managers to coach and lead their teams, according to the survey, it represents a risk area for organizations. Our data shows that manager effectiveness directly impacts employee engagement, with recognition and professional development playing especially big roles in driving effectiveness,” said Achievers Chief Workforce Scientist Dr. Natalie Baumgartner. “Organizations need to offer widespread training to all managers to empower them to better lead their teams. If an organization can empower all their managers to be great leaders, they will see direct business impact at every level.”
The report found that 95% of respondents who would recommend their manager, a measure of manager effectiveness, also reported being engaged. The opposite was also true. Those who reported being disengaged were six times less likely to say they would recommend their manager.
The top drivers of manager effectiveness included frequent recognition, professional development, strength-based management, and empathic leadership. By training managers in these areas, organizations can improve effectiveness, thereby driving employee engagement throughout the organization.
Other key findings:
- The Importance of Recognition: Satisfaction with, and frequency of, recognition is strongly correlated with manager effectiveness. With almost 9 out of 10 (86%) respondents who would recommend their manager also saying they are regularly recognized — it shows that regular, effective recognition is key to manager effectiveness.
- Professional Development: Another top area for driving manager effectiveness is planning and discussing professional development. Just a quarter (27%) of disengaged respondents said that their manager supports their professional development goals, compared to 88% of engaged respondents.
- Empathetic Leadership: Achievers asked respondents if they felt seen and understood as a person by their manager and found that 91% of respondents who would recommend their manager also feel seen and understood as a person. This type of leadership requires understanding your team’s needs and feelings, prioritizing them, and responding individually rather than treating your employees as a generic group that can all be motivated in the same way.