The Manager’s Report Card: Are you a good boss or bad boss?

 In Rick Conlow

Everywhere managers are looking for, or working hard to achieve, that “magic” formula that will create and inspire the highest performance in their teams. All leaders from the first-line supervisor to the division executive want to exceed their goals, preferably in grand fashion. Who wouldn’t?

The problem is that far too few managers are winning this big. If they were the economy would be much better and growth rates would be much higher. Leadership is the issue, as shown in this Manager’s Report Card.

The Manager’s Report Card
According to management derailment studies 50% of managers fail. Some say it’s worse than that. This is worse than a normal bell curve. These are massive failures and those who don’t out-right fail aren’t exactly shining in the lime light. Here is the state of the art for management practices today.

How do you rate?

  • 50% of managers don’t know that improving service and quality would reduce operating costs.
  • 50% of managers don’t understand that people repeat behavior that is rewarded.
  • 60% of managers don’t think it is right to brag about an employee in front of others.
  • 66% of managers don’t set and review goals with their employees.
  • 70% of managers don’t know that the best way to solve an employee problem is through a mutual decision-making process.
  • 80% of managers don’t know that observations in performance feedback should focus on specifics, not generalities.
  • 80-95% of service and quality problems are management related.
  • 91% of employees want more recognition and only 50% say they get any at all.

What grade would you give these managers? An A, B, C? How about a D or F? Most say a D or F. Managers have to be better than this. You have to be better than this. Don’t get me wrong, despite all this info on how ineffective managers are, I believe in them and their potential. My business is dedicated to helping managers excel.

However, this is a challenge to managers and companies across the globe.  Imagine how the above affects an employee’s attitude and productivity?  In fact, the #1 reason why employees quit their jobs is because of their bosses. According to a Conference Board Report 55% of employees are dissatisfied with their jobs. Gallup says 75-80% of employees could care less about their company’s goals. There are more statistics like this, and these consistently show that far too many employees are disenfranchised because of bad bosses, and it cost companies billions of dollars in productivity, customers, sales and profits.

What Do Managers Need To Do To Improve?
As we studied what the best leaders do we found research and practical evidence that points to what top leaders do to succeed. Below is a list showing the management strategies, the performance gain, and the study that supports it.

  1. Clear Goals and Expectations: 16% improvement. –Locke and Latham
  2. Training: Companies in the top quarter of training expense ($1500 per year or more per employee) average 24% higher profit margins than those with lower training expenses. -ASTD Study
  3. Communication: Companies with an in-house plan increase market share by 30%. -Wyatt Study
  4. Coaching: A structured process for coaching leads to an 88% improvement in employee performance. –Personnel Management Association
  5. Leadership Flexibility: Managers who adapt their leadership styles to the needs of employees gain 15-20% more in productivity. –Blanchard, Hershey, Goleman
  6. Promotions: Providing strategic employee incentives leads to a 22% increase in productivity. –Performance Improvement Institute
  7. Customer Loyalty: 5% improvement in customer retention improves profit by 25% or more. –Bain Research
  8. Recognition: Triple return on equity for companies with more employee recognition than those companies who do less. –Jackson ROI Study
  9. Hiring: A professional hiring process prevents expensive mistakes. A good hire can save you 3x the annual salary. –Personnel Policy Service

By implementing these strategies you have an opportunity to ace The Manager’s Report Card. More importantly you will excite, motivate and inspire your team to achieve stellar performance. With passionate and consistent execution you have a chance to win big. Really big! This means more success for you and the pride that goes with excelling. Get to it. Learn all you can in these areas. Become one of the best leaders in your chosen field.


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