Managing Employee Performance: How Do You Manage Managers?

Managing Employee Performance: How Do You Manage Managers?

Not all employees are alike. Some excel in their roles, while underperforming workers can drag down the bottom line. Most fall somewhere in the middle. In Part 1 of this series, we introduced several ways to figure out which employee is which. In Part 2, we discussed management strategies specific to those workers in the middle of the range. In Part 3, we focused on how to help top performers thrive. In Part 4, we showcased 10 steps you can take with, or about, underperformers. In today’s final part, we are going to talk about managers themselves. 

When considering tips and strategies for managing staff members, the focus naturally falls squarely on the employee; but it’s important to remember that employees are always members of a relationship, and the employer has a role to play here too. In fact, there’s reason to believe that how well or poorly the manager performs his or her role could have a direct impact on the employee’s performance. 

Many employees would sacrifice a raise if it meant gaining a better boss; in fact, 50% of employees have left a job to get away from their manager. Further, per Gallup, managers account for a full 70% of the variance in employee engagement scores. The Washington Post reports that dysfunctional bosses – which up to a third of U.S. workers have had – can even impact worker health.

With that in mind, here are some important tips to consider about your managers.

Provide adequate training and support to your managers and supervisors. Ensure that the training made available to leaders in your organization successfully equips them with the skills needed to make the most of the people working with and for them. 

Make a concentrated effort to hire the best bosses. Gallup has also found that one in ten people possess the innate traits needed to be good managers. There’s a good chance your organization already has some of these diamonds in the rough! Just remember that skill in one role (like sales) doesn’t necessarily apply to management and leading. 

Pull back on the micro-managing. Discourage managers from going overboard. According to one study on IT workers, people given greater control over their working conditions said they felt less overwhelmed at work. Dr. Emma Seppälä, scientific director of Stanford’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education and author of The Happiness Track, told The Huffington Post, “People thrive in their jobs and become more fully engaged when they are given autonomy.

Do not let an average (or worse, underperforming) boss manage a top performer. In the Workplace Productivity Survey conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), poor management was the #1 reason for diminished productivity, cited by 58% of employees. Bad managers hurt the performance of everyone under them, and no one will meet their potential in that situation. But when your top 5% are producing 26% of the organization’s output, even a small dip can have a disastrous impact. Only entrust your top performers to your top bosses.

Need more information about performance management or employee engagement? CoAdvantage, one of the nation’s largest Professional Employer Organizations (PEOs), helps small to mid-sized companies with HR best practices, compliance, payroll and benefits. To learn more about our integrated HR outsourcing solution, contact us today.