Skip to navigation
7 Min Read

Unlocking Manager Effectiveness: How Microlearning Drives Engagement, Performance, and Retention

Claire Beveridge

HR is more than a simple administrative function. Human Resource departments are a key strategic partner in driving business results and shaping organizational culture. 

For example, HR played a pivotal role in supporting organizations through COVID-19. The department became more strategy-centric as employee expectations and business demands changed. This meant a switch from HR focusing on outputs to outcomes

But the transformation of HR departments didn’t start and end with the pandemic. 

HR and People Ops functions that tangibly impact business results by creating outcomes are being taken more seriously, and being taken more seriously and viewed as a strategic partner means more business impact—and less time fighting for resources and budget allocation. 

But how exactly can HR impact business results? 

HR Outcomes: An overview

At 15Five, we have spent years working hand-in-hand with thousands of HR leaders on their most important priorities, learning precisely which outcomes make the biggest impact on a business. Together, we’ve uncovered exactly which areas HR leaders should focus on, and how.

These outcomes are:

  • Maximize employee performance
  • Decrease regrettable turnover
  • Improve employee engagement

These key areas get the most attention from executive teams and important decision-makers while substantially impacting business results. Let’s take a deeper look into each of these outcomes and how they relate to manager effectiveness.

Improve employee engagement

Engaged employees have a deep commitment and involvement with a business. They’re passionate about their role, its requirements, and the organization’s wider goals. 

Employee engagement leads to increased productivity, happier employees, a positive workplace culture, job satisfaction, and employee retention. 

The manager/employee relationship is particularly important when it comes to employee engagement. For example, an ineffective manager can significantly impact how engaged an employee is with a business. Thus, improving manager effectiveness cannot be overlooked as a tactic for boosting employee engagement.

Maximize employee performance

Every organization wants high-performing employees. After all, why hire someone who doesn’t work at their best?

When teams execute their work at a continuously high level, businesses can: 

  • Achieve organizational goals faster
  • Increase productivity and efficiency
  • Deliver exceptional customer service
  • Improve employee engagement and morale 
  • Provide accurate performance evaluations
  • Deliver impactful, actionable feedback

Managers have a direct responsibility to ensure that employees have the tools and resources to execute their work at a high level and execute sustained performance. So it’s important to ensure that managers themselves have the right skills and access to adequate training to help support their teams.

Decrease regrettable turnover

Regrettable turnover happens when an employee’s departure has a negative impact on the organization or when a high-performing employee that the company would have liked to keep decides to leave of their own accord.

Regrettable turnover is remedied by focusing on understanding why the high-performers aren’t satisfied with staying. And managers frequently have a huge hand in impacting employee turnover. In fact, according to Gallup, up to 70% of an employee’s engagement at work can be attributed to the quality of their manager.

The best way to move the needle on these outcomes? Focus on effective managers.

Manager Effectiveness: The Key Driver of Business Results

By now, we’ve established that an effective manager has a significant impact on employee performance, engagement, development, and retention. By investing in manager effectiveness, organizations can create a high-performing culture and workforce that drives business results. 

Yet, in our 2023 Manager Effectiveness Report, we found that only 37% of employees are impressed with their manager’s leadership skills. Without support or investment in their growth, these managers can have a negative impact on their teams and the organization as a whole.

It’s time for HR leaders to focus on manager effectiveness, and equipping their managers with the tools they need to unlock potential on their teams and for the organization as a whole.

How to Invest in Manager Effectiveness: Transform Microlearning

At 15Five, our mission is to empower managers with the right skills and behaviors to drive growth for their employees and business outcomes for their teams.

For the managers themselves, having the resources to continue their development is a key lever in retention and engagement and a major reason that top performers either take or leave a job.

We know managers are crucial to impacting outcomes, so we are dedicated to developing managers and leaders within the flow of their work.

When HR leaders are asked to do the same (or more) but with fewer (resources), investing in leaders is essential to driving engagement, performance, and retention for managers and their employees.

But not everyone is ready to jump full-in to Transform right away.

This is why we’re excited to introduce Transform Microlearning so that more of our customers can benefit from increased manager effectiveness.

Introducing Transform Microlearning

Transform Microlearning gives 15Five customers the ability to invest in their managers within the flow of their work through bite-sized skill development content within the 15Five platform. 

Now you can get a taste of the kind of transformation possible through 15Five’s Transform manager training and coaching.

We added Microlearning to our platform because we know it can have a significant impact on enhancing manager effectiveness, which, in turn, plays a pivotal role in driving results in our customers’ top areas of focus: Engagement, Performance, and Retention.

Here are some examples of the topics found in Transform Microlearning:

Managing Stress: Feel Better, Make Progress: Learn about the different types of stress and gain awareness of your unique stress response behaviors. You’ll explore and practice a stress management framework that can be used with your team to increase stress resilience.

Meaningful 1-on-1s: Goals, Growth, Feedback: Discover what makes 1-on-1’s the most powerful conversational practice for any team leader. Learn about  common pitfalls, plus a framework to help you prepare for  and drive meaningful 1-on-1’s using relational skills,   co-created agendas, goals, and accountability

Setting Goals That Matter: A crash course on goal-setting. Essential techniques for creating OKRs to create goals that are both inspiring and measurable, while navigating common pitfalls. Learn practices to ensure high-quality work and manage ongoing progress

Driving Psychological Safety With Role Clarity: As a manager, ensuring that your team knows what they are accountable for (and what success looks like)  is crucial. Explore the elements of role clarity and why it’s necessary for psychological safety and overall team success. Learn a framework for connecting business needs to job expectations, and conversational tools to gain or reestablish areas of responsibility.

Continuously measure your manager’s impact

Improving manager effectiveness is important, but so is tracking that improvement. In order to confidently understand how impactful manager development programs and initiatives are, HR leaders are turning to 15Five’s Manager Effectiveness Indicator. 

The Manager Effectiveness Indicator is designed to give you a holistic understanding of manager effectiveness by using data to analyze skills, behaviors, and outcomes. Admins can configure the indicator to reflect the aspects of manager effectiveness that most align with their organization.

Managers across all levels—including team leaders, first-timers, department heads, and seasoned pros—are vitally important to the success of your business. And HR is perfectly positioned to give managers the support they need while moving the needle on business outcomes.

Drive Impact With 15Five 

Ready to see the positive transformation for yourself? 

To get started with Transform Microlearning, request a demo of 15Five and see how 15Five can empower your managers and elevate your organization with our powerful tools and insights.