manager effectiveness

How to Maximize Manager Effectiveness

By Jennie Yang

When is the last time you evaluated your managers’ performance; not by their individual contributions, or even by their teams’ success, but by their ability to coach their people?

To further help managers understand what it means to be effective in their roles, it’s vital to provide clarity and expectations of their behaviors. 

At 15Five, we measure our managers’ effectiveness and performance quarterly through our Best-Self Review™. This research-backed performance review system is designed to assess a person’s performance in a multi-dimensional and accurate way. Along with the ability to perform Competency and Private Manager Assessments, self, upward, and peer reviews, we’re excited to introduce the Manager Effectiveness Template. 

The importance of measuring manager effectiveness

A company’s performance significantly depends on the performance of managers. However, leaders often use the wrong metrics. Manager performance isn’t just about driving team results. There are other contributing factors, such as giving feedback and coaching, which are critical to a manager’s effectiveness. 

Unless your company has clearly defined measurements of a manager’s success outside of their individual contributions, it’s challenging to objectively define a manager’s ability to coach and support their employees. In order to understand, communicate, and improve a manager’s effectiveness in their role, it is important to first define what those measurements are and then be able to measure it on a recurring cadence.

15Five’s Manager Effectiveness Template

15Five’s Manager Effectiveness Template is inspired by the latest people science and aims to gauge which manager’s skills and behaviors are driving performance. This template is designed to work in tandem with the Private Manager Assessment to help ensure behaviors are taken into account for the most objective and fair review. It offers a way to measure manager performance over time, identify skills and perception gaps, and enhance transparency in the review process.

Using a flexible opinion scale, the Manager Effectiveness Template captures quantitative data without the use of forced, numerical ratings (ex: “rank this person on a scale of 1-4”). Each review admin is able to customize the opinion scale using behaviorally anchored ratings (BARS), such as strongly agree, agree, disagree, etc.

How you can support your managers in becoming effective coaches

Step 1: Share a set of agreements with managers, inclusive of their job responsibilities, manager expectations, competencies, what defines success in their role, and what they will be measured on. This ensures they are not caught off guard when they are measured by their team members in a Best-Self Review™ upward review.

Step 2: Have the managers go through a self assessment using the predetermined manager effectiveness measurements. This will capture data points of where the manager subjectively believes they are strong and where they feel they have room to grow.

Step 3: Kick-off a Best-Self Review™ cycle to include an upward review and leverage the Manager Effectiveness Template. Use the feedback gathered from the Manager Effectiveness Template as one of many data points to help accurately evaluate managers along with manager engagement scores, growth and development questions, and 360° feedback in the Best-Self Review™, OKR progress, demonstration of company values, etc.

Pro tip: Tie responses to the Manager Effectiveness Template questions to growth and development conversations, not performance reviews, ratings, rankings, compensation decisions, or career ladders.

While measuring the effectiveness of your managers is valuable for learning what’s working and what’s not, you need to continuously support them in succeeding in their role by providing them with a holistic performance and accountability structure, on-demand learning and development, and live educational workshops

Jennie Yang is a leadership coach and facilitator who believes that when you adopt a personal growth mindset and invest in your own development, you will uncover your purpose and unlock your own potential. As Director of Talent Transformation at 15Five, Jennie helps enable 15Five’s mission to create highly engaged, high-performing organizations by helping people become their best selves.  Follow her on Twitter @jenniemaeyang.

Image credit: shutterstock


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