Want to shock your CEO? Tell him/her that, according to a recent Gallup survey, only 2 in 10 employees “strongly agree that their performance is managed in a way that motivates them to do their best work.”
The likelihood that your business is misaligned by 80% is something every CEO will want to know. The issue is compounded by the fact that only 18% of managers have the necessary talents to be good in their role, so it’s definitely an HR issue. So before you go sharing this problem, you may want to have a solution or two in hand.
More than half of new managers say there were not prepared for their first managerial position and just 39 percent received training. No wonder there are so many bad bosses!
And because managers account for 70% of the variance in engagement among employees – the consequences of this are huge. All of the unprepared and untrained managers at your business are demotivating your workforce and, therefore, devaluing what is likely your company’s largest investment.
If being a good manager is not an innate talent for most people, it is HR’s responsibility to guide them, as best they can, to do, and say the right things. By helping your managers to engage and motivate employees, you’ll be responsible for driving real business growth. And fortunately, helping to make managers better is not that hard.
Make Regular Conversations the Goal
When people are asked what they want from a manager, two things stand out: 1) a clear understanding of their goals and 2) active involvement in their development. Employees want to know what’s expected of them and to have continuous coaching and development to help them successfully meet today’s expectations, along with the challenges of tomorrow. All it takes for these two things to happen is a conversation.
Establishing goals ought to happen at least quarterly through active collaboration between the manager and employee. Goals must clearly align with company priorities so people can see how what they do fits into the bigger picture. Including at least one professional development goal also ensures the employee and their manager are aligned toward their desired career ambitions.
These goals then form the context for regular conversations between the employee and their manager. Weekly (or more, if required) check-ins should celebrate achievements, uncover any barriers to progress and ensure current goals continue to align with company priorities.
These ongoing conversations are also a chance for managers to coach employees on where and how to enhance their skills. Importantly, feedback must be a two-way street and employees should have the opportunity to let managers know how their relationship could be improved.
You likely will still need to have formal performance reviews at the end year to inform compensation and promotion decisions. And, if you’ve been using continuous feedback, your managers will find that creating these documents will not be nearly as time-consuming for them to complete as it is now — with the average manager investing over 200 hours each year writing performance reviews.
Give Your Managers the Tools to Succeed
Helping your managers to be better managers is a continuous need, not a one-time event. Technology can be extremely useful to help ensure that goals are being set and that they are aligned to the company priorities. BetterWorks is the new breed of continuous performance management™ HR software, helping drive the critical ongoing conversations by reminding managers to check in with employees, highlighting what needs to be discussed and even prompting them to ask specific questions.
Technology like this also empowers employees to proactively engage with their managers, while giving HR a clear view of what’s happening and who needs additional support. Given the benefits, it’s no surprise that 55% of businesses are planning to invest in Talent Management technology.
Now you’re ready to go to your CEO and tell her that you have a plan to unlock the true potential of your business. Through using technology to prompt managers to have the critical conversations around goals, coaching and developing and HR having the visibility to ensure practices are consistent across the organization, you’ll be instrumental in helping increase employee motivation and drive growth for your business.