LSA Global Insights Newsletter: Do You Have High Performing Managers? The 4 Management Metrics that Matter Most

7.30.2015

Do You Have High Performing Managers? The 4 Management Metrics that Matter Most


Despite rumors to the contrary and the recent buzz around holacracies and self-managed work teams at companies like Zappos, management and managers are still a major factor in the running of most organizations. 

There are over 56 million managers in the United States making up 38% of the workforce and a significant portion of payroll. And in the UK, there are ten times as many managers as there were just 100 years ago. 

Many companies have also flattened their organizational structures to increase productivity and speed up decision making thereby giving managers wider responsibility over more employees than they had in the past. The good news is that managers have a big impact on performance. The bad news is that leadership gaps are growing. Corporate talent research shows that leadership bench strength continues to be the most pressing issue on the minds of business and HR leaders. The bottom line - organizations are having a difficult time finding the leadership capability they need to help them succeed.

Manager Performance is Not Meeting Expectations
Most of our clients recognize the inherent challenges of finding high performing managers. But what concerns us even more is that, according to recent research, senior executives are not happy with the performance of their companies' frontline managers. 

According to McKinsey, nearly 70% of senior executives are only "somewhat" or "not at all satisfied" with the performance of their companies' frontline managers. And a stunning 81% of frontline managers are not satisfied with their own performance. This aligns with our own employee engagement research findings where 'trust in senior leaders,' 'manager effectiveness' and 'alignment with goals' consistently rank in the bottom quartile in underperforming organizations. 

How Important Is Manager Performance In Terms Of Business Performance?
It would be difficult to overestimate the negative impact of poor managers on the business success of your organization. 

Bad Management = Bad Business:
From a customer experience perspective, managers and line supervisors direct as much as two-thirds of the workforce responsible for defining, delivering and improving the customer experience. From an employee perspective, managers account for at least 70% of the variance in employee engagement scores across business units. When managers underperform, both the customer experience and employee engagement suffer. 

Good Management = Good Business:
According to a Harvard Business Review study, the most enduringly successful companies (those delivering a 10-fold return to investors over a ten year period) excel at ten specific management practices: strategy, execution, culture, structure, talent, innovation, leadership, mergers and partnerships, problem anticipation and performance coaching. When managers execute their responsibilities well, the organization can thrive.  

So What Should You Do to Increase Manager and Company Performance?
You need a comprehensive plan. The first and most important step is to clearly define what success will look like with three key stakeholders: 
1.   Your Target Audience
2.   Their Bosses
3.   The Executive Team

This phase is complete when all three constituents agree upon the critical few metrics to improve and their relative importance compared to other priorities faced by the organization. For management training, success metrics typically fall into four main buckets.


About LSA Global
Founded in 1995, LSA Global is a leading performance consulting and training firm that helps high growth technology, services, and life-science companies create a competitive advantage by powerfully aligning their culture and talent with their strategy. Learn more about getting aligned