2023 – The Year of Manager Effectiveness

As we reflect on the challenges encountered in 2022 (The Great Resignation/Retirement), what can we focus on in 2023 to address these challenges or others we may face? Should we focus on employee retention, turnover or plan for a recession? Are we doing enough for the leaders and managers within our organization? It might be hard to narrow your sights on specific areas right now, but we can take a cue from what others are planning on. 

Putting a focus on Manager Effectiveness 

Gartner recently surveyed more than 800 companies globally to find out what top priorities and challenges they expect to tackle in 2023. Sixty percent of the respondents indicated that “leader and manager effectiveness” would be a priority for their company this year. Effective leaders are those who collaborate with staff, provide recognition, and inspire others to follow. According to studies, more than 50% of managers report having no formal training at all. It’s no surprise that focusing on leader and manager effectiveness would be a primary focus for the year since we know that they have a large impact on retention and engagement.  

Poor manager perception can lead to turnover 

Benchmark data from People Element’s Engagement & Exit Surveys indicate there is a difference in favorability scores on manager-related questions between current employees and those who are leaving the organization. Current employees usually have more positive perceptions of their managers than their exiting counterparts. Although we still see a good percentage of the current employee population giving poor perception scores when rating their managers, this could indicate that the effectiveness or perception of management ties into the employee’s willingness to stay at an organization.  

With that in mind, consider making it a priority to provide your managers with the opportunity to sharpen their skills and develop effective approaches to interacting with their employees. Focusing on leader and manager effectiveness can ensure they are putting their best foot forward with their employees and lead to less turnover.  

What can be done that will have the most impact on manager effectiveness this year? 

5 Ways to Improve Manager Effectiveness 
1) Ask and listen to your employees 

Collect feedback across your organization and ask them specific questions related to their perceptions of management. You can get this data in a multitude of ways but is likely most convenient through surveys like Engagement, New Hire, Stay, and Exit Interviews. Once you have your responses, you can start to analyze the data and get an idea of how your team feels about management. Take the time to dig deep and identify specific opportunity and strength areas (e.g., communication style, empathy, flexibility) and use them to guide where you will focus your efforts. 

2) Communicate with managers 

Share results from surveys with your managers and let them know what you plan to do with the data. Be transparent and keep managers up to date, as this will help them adopt any changes or plans you intend to roll out. Always remember to be mindful of how you communicate any feedback to managers to ensure that it is constructive for them. If the surveys are not anonymous, before sharing response data be sure to remove any identifying information to protect the privacy of your employees. 

3) Remember, it’s about support and development 

When you start receiving feedback about managers, it is important to not hold negative results against them. Best practice is to use this information for professional development and not performance reviews. It is expected that you may find weak areas that need improvement, so do not get frustrated or discouraged by this. It does not mean that you have “bad managers”, it simply means that you can now develop their skills and bring everyone up to speed. Always try to remain positive and focus on the goal of supporting your team. 

4) Act quickly and with intention 

Once you have clear results and know where to start, act quickly. If negative perceptions around managers lead to employee turnover, you don’t want to waste time making adjustments. Pick the area that needs the most improvement and create an action plan that covers what will be implemented, outlines a timeline, and identifies the key stakeholders. With this in place, it will be simple to communicate the plan with your team and hold yourselves accountable. 

5) Consider providing 360-degree feedback 

Asking employees about manager perceptions in other surveys may not be enough. Give your managers the opportunity to gain meaningful insight directly from their supervisors, direct reports, and peers through full 360-degree surveys. This type of individual review is extremely useful for managers to understand exactly where they excel and what they need to work on.  

Focus your sights on developing and improving your managers in 2023 and you’ll likely notice less voluntary turnover and happier employees. If you are looking for an easy-to-use tool that provides managers with 360-degree feedback, check out Manager 360. It makes collecting feedback simple while providing you and your managers with automated insights based on their results. Managers can start learning right away through tailored best practices for acting on their feedback and an action coach to guide them through improving their skills. 

Learn more about our all-inclusive employee listening solution at peopleelement.com.  

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