3 Dos and Don’ts of People Management

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3 Dos and Don’ts of People Management

Just last week, The Predictive Index published its 2018 People Management Survey. The survey was held among more than 5000 people across various industries and holds some very interesting findings – not just for managers but for HR too.

In this article, we’ll highlight some of the findings from the report. They’ll help you get an understanding of what (personality traits) your employees value most in a manager.

1. Do: Give (a lot of) feedback

When it comes to people management, the importance of feedback is huge. As a result, a manager’s rating in the eyes of employees is closely linked to the amount of feedback he or she gives them.

In this case, less isn’t more: employees are more likely to give higher marks to managers who give a tad too much feedback than to those we give too little.   

Feedback is key for successful people management

How employees rate their managers based on the amount of feedback they get.
Source: The Predictive Index 2018 People Management Survey.

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We’ve said this before, the average 21st-century employee wants to know how they’re doing. Not just once a year, pretty much constantly. And feedback doesn’t only matter to your current workforce. For job-seekers, an organization that gives its people continuous, instant feedback – preferably as a part of their employees’ personal career plan – will almost certainly prevail over an organization that doesn’t.

Making feedback an integral part of your people management doesn’t have to be complicated. There are, for example, various feedback and performance management tools out there to facilitate things: Employees get automated notifications straight on their smartphones and the software generates reports based on the collected data to help managers have more meaningful face-to-face conversations with their team.    

2. Don’t: Underestimate a manager’s impact on employee retention

Surely you’ve heard this before: people don’t leave their job, they leave their manager. The survey from The Predictive Index not only confirms this, it also shows us how much managers influence their employee’s work experiences.

When asked whether or not they agreed with the following statement:

“Overall, I feel passion and energy for my job.”

94% of the employees with a great manager answered affirmatively. Among those who had a bad boss, this was only 59%.

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For HR, there is an even more interesting side to this.

When asked how likely they were to work for a different organization somewhere in the next 12 months, it turned out that 77% of employees with a not-so-great manager was planning to leave the company. Among those who had a great manager, this was only 18%.

People management has a big impact on employee retention

A manager’s impact on an employee’s likelihood to leave the company is not to be underestimated.
Source: The Predictive Index 2018 People Management Survey.

In other words: when you want to increase your employee retention rates, you may want to start by having a look at your people management.

3. Do: Hire men, women (and Millennials) to be a manager

We already knew that diversity hiring is good for business and that it improves employee happiness. It also increases your talent pool, improves innovation, and it’s good for your employer brand.

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Now we also know that men and women match up equally when it comes to people management: the report from The Predictive Index shows that women got an average rating of 7.3 (out of 10) and men received an average rating of 7.2.

The same thing goes for millennials. Those born somewhere between the early 80’s and late 90’s don’t always get a lot of credit for their people management skills.

Wrongly so, it turns out.

While there is no big difference between the average ratings for managers of various generations, Millennials do get a slightly higher mark than their peers: 7.4 (out of 10) against 7.3 for managers from Gen X and 7.1 for Baby Boomers.

So…what makes a great manager?

The three findings mentioned above give us an idea about the factors that play a role when it comes to successful people management. They paint a general picture, regardless of the manager’s personality: Implement a good feedback system, be aware of the impact managers have on your employee experience, and hire a diverse management team. But apart from these, let’s say ‘neutral’ factors, what are the personality traits that matter when you’re hiring a manager?

In the survey, there are three different kinds of managers: Based on their ratings, managers qualify either as good, bad, or great. Since we all want great managers (in an ideal world), let’s take a look at what it is that sets great managers apart from the good ones. 

Here are a few of the biggest discrepancies in terms of personality traits that were often found in great managers, but less so in good managers:

  • Makes good decisions
  • Listens well
  • Cares about my career & personal development
  • Motivates others
  • Makes sure my voice/ideas are heard and considered

On a final note

These are just a few of the findings in the report on people management from The Predictive Index. If you want to read the full report, go here

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