Poll: Managers struggle to balance managing people with other tasks

Dive brief:

  • According to 68% of respondents in a new survey conducted by SoapBox. Achieving team goals fell far behind (14%), followed by obtaining team collaboration (11%) and employee retention (4%).
  • The survey of over 200 people managers across various industries, experience levels and company sizes found that 37% of managers believe that the most important part of their management role is to keep the team on track to achieve goals. Twenty-six percent said they provided their direct reports with opportunities for growth and development, and 22% said it was about “removing blockers” from their team.
  • Managers are in close contact with their teams, 94% say they have face-to-face meetings. Slack is a common team communication tool used by 54% of respondents. Despite the technology, rEmote managers find employee retention much more difficult than on-site managers. Seventeen percent of remote managers cited this as their main challenge, compared to just 3% of on-site managers.

Dive overview:

“Managers are the most important driver of employee performance, engagement and happiness,” said Brennan McEachran, co-founder and CEO of SoapBox, in a Press release about the study. This matches other research showing the importance of work-life balance and company culture for worker engagement, productivity, and overall happiness at work.

According to a study by Willis Towers Watson (WTW), a positive employee experience is also directly correlated with better financial performance. WTW found that organizations with solid employee experience achieve better results returns on assets and equity, as well as improved profitability and income.

It may be a chicken-and-egg situation – it is possible that high performing organizations are willing and able to invest more in training, development and the overall employee experience – but it there is no doubt that front line managers and supervisors are key. part of the reasons why employees stay in an organization, or why they leave it.


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