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Managing People

15Five’s 2023 Manager Effectiveness Report

Helping HR Solve the Manager-Employee Disconnect to Fuel Productivity

We surveyed 1,000 managers and 1,000 employees across the US on productivity tracking, manager effectiveness and training, and career growth and development. The findings reveal a significant challenge for HR: the severe disconnect between managers and employees. Our research affirms the pressing need for greater communication and transparency, which leads to greater trust between the two groups.

Three main issues emerged:

  1. Productivity tracking: The absence of on-site observation in remote and hybrid workplaces has management experiencing “productivity paranoia,” despite numerous reports noting that productivity actually increases with a flexible work schedule. Some organizations are turning to surveillance tools, which employees experience as a lack of trust.
  2. Manager effectiveness: Effective managers are the key playmakers in determining an employee’s engagement—and, therefore, an organization’s success. But managers often struggle to lead because they don’t have the necessary skills to drive engagement and performance in the evolving workplace. The result? Employees don’t see their managers as strong leaders.
  3. Career development: Too many organizations still need to invest in career advancement opportunities for employees. Roles need to be clearly defined and there needs to be more professional training and an understood path for advancement. Adding more cause for concern: managers report having meaningful career goal discussions with employees, but employees disagree significantly.

One of the exciting things that emerged is that the greatest disconnect is the perception by company leaders around how to best manage people and drive business outcomes forwards. The positive relationship between every manager and employee is the most essential element to fuel productivity and increase engagement and retention. 

Table of Contents:

I. Tracking Productivity
II. Manager Effectiveness & Training
​​III. Career Growth & Professional Development
IV. Tools That Drive Employee Engagement and Manager Success

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