“My manager is such a pain. They never communicate clearly what they expect from me and constantly mope around in their office. Our entire team basically runs itself.”
“My manager is fantastic. They set clear goals for myself and our team and communicate openly by checking in regularly. Our team is engaged and works efficiently with their guidance”.
If you are in an executive position, which statement would you rather hear? Definitely the second one—especially if you were the one that hired that manager.
According to the State of The American Manager Report, great managers possess the talent to motivate employees, assert themselves to overcome roadblocks, create an accountability culture within their team, can build good relationships, and are able to make decisions. The sobering truth is, only one in ten people have all of those skills. Another two in ten people have some of those skills. With leadership development and training, they can develop the others—and that itself makes continuous management and leadership training essential to any company.
When you reach a goal, you don’t just stop and quit. An athlete doesn’t make the Olympic team and then just stops training up until the Olympics. A football player who wins the Superbowl may bask in their glory for a month or so, but then they come back for more. The point is, continuous improvement and training for managers (and others) should be a non-stop process for your company.
So What if a Few of My Managers Aren’t Great?
If you are willing to settle for an underperforming company, then fine, keep your underperforming managers. But here are some statistics that might change your mind:
- An employee with a better-engaged manager is 59 percent more likely to be engaged themselves. An engaged employee feels happier and more confident in their role and is more likely to create innovative ideas and perform better.
- Companies with talented managers see a 48 percent increase in profitability.
- Managers who are not engaged or are “actively disengaged” cost the US economy at least 300 billion annually.
So What Can Training Do For Me? Shouldn’t I Just Throw Out All My Managers and Hire New Ones?
Well, not quite. You hired your current managers because they did well in their previous roles. If they aren’t willing to try out some training on company time, you may need to have a conversation, but the training itself can be quite valuable. As mentioned above, training increases profitability and engaged employees, which creates a better culture and more company growth. While your managers may not naturally possess some of the great traits, there are plenty of things you can train them on, such as, but not limited to:
- Setting goals and expectations with their team
- The value of individualized management
- How to communicate clearly, including having difficult conversations regarding performance
- How to motivate employees and boost morale
- How to make objective decisions
- How to be an active listener
- How to provide actionable feedback
- How to harness the power of empathy
- How to appropriately recognize and reward employees
These topics are something a manager can learn a little about and then reflect on what they have been doing. While they may not go from C to A+ communicators, they can at least get into the B+ range, which could significantly impact an individual employee’s day-to-day.
Okay Great, I’m Going to Start Training My Managers. What Can I do to Ensure I Have Better Managers Coming Up My Pipeline in the Future?
The answer is the same here—training. By allowing your other team members to participate in similar types of training (objective decision making, setting goals, communicating effectively), you can ensure that they start building up these skills. That way, when it comes down to the wire on succession planning, you can see who really zoned in on this training and may be ready to lead.
You would never want to count yourself out, so don’t count your managers and employees out by providing continuous and vital training. Having a plan of action is necessary as managers will leave roles or switch roles within the company, and you want to have the best lined up to take their place. We now know that an engaged manager leads to an engaged employee and that no doubt benefits the company.
Want to start bettering yourself as a manager before training your employees? Check out a few of Peoplelogic’s other articles here:
- Helping Your Employees Set Realistic Goals
- 5 Things That Great Leaders Embody
- Individualized Management: What it is and Why it’s Important
Want access to on-demand management and leadership training? Checkout Peoplelogic Elevate.