Why Great Managers Matter

February 8, 2022 in Employee Engagement



Why Great Managers Matter

If businesses want to attract and retain great employees, they need great managers. It’s really that simple. We’ve known for years that managers are the key to the employee experience. So, what effect do they really have on an organization and its people?

With the right data, people analytics can offer valuable insight into what type of support employees want from their managers. According to a recent Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) study, employees felt their managers could improve in a variety of areas, including:

  • Communicating effectively (41 percent)
  • Developing and training the team (38 percent)
  • Managing time and delegating (37 percent)
  • Cultivating a positive and inclusive team culture (35 percent)
  •  Managing team performance (35 percent)

What do great managers deliver?

Great managers don’t just have the knowledge and experience in their trade. They have the necessary soft skills to build meaningful relationships. Supporting their teams is a holistic effort, and they use continuous coaching to prioritize individual growth.

Deeply engaged teams

Building meaningful relationships is the cornerstone of creating engaged teams. Without great managers to lead the way, the belonging that employees crave from their work is simply unobtainable. Employee success is fostered with individual development, connection to peers, and a clear path to purpose that gets them out of bed every morning. The result is better relationships, better communication, better performance. Organizations whose leadership can scale a culture lead by people-centric managers are winning big across the board.

High-performing people

Great managers also understand that high-performing teams are a result of a trust-driven work environment. When given a safe space to try new things without fear of failure, magic happens. Teams naturally perform at higher levels because they feel empowered to think creatively, challenge the status quo, and ultimately, put their best foot forward. Of course, building high-trust environments doesn’t just happen. Staying connected to how people learn, what strengths they have, and how to engage them as deeply as possible is key. A clear understanding of what comes next and how to coach progress is the heart of what great manages keep a pulse on, and it shows.

A workplace culture that attracts talent (naturally)

Without great managers, losing top talent becomes all too common. SHRM found a strong connection between culture and manager success, reporting that 58% of employees who quit a job due to workplace culture said that their managers are the main reason they ultimately left. This type of turnover has cost businesses $223 billion in the past five years.

By comparison, engaged teams with effective managers become HR’s single best tool for attracting new talent. Employees who feel seen, heard, and understood by their peers and manager are much more likely to spread the word about an organization. They take pride in belonging to a place where people are free to be themselves. As a result, they’ll bring the talent to you.

Bottom-line benefits

Organizations who understand the importance of supporting their managers with development and training are likely doing so across every department. The result? Deeply engaged people and fewer resignations.

That means organizations are spending less money and time on training new employees. Add in the recruiting and/or hiring costs it takes to even get new hires in the door, and the cost of turnover soars. From customer satisfaction to product innovation to employee retention, great managers deliver.

Build a Timeless Retention Strategy:

Strategies and activities to bring purpose to the employee experience and retain top talent.


downlaod now
Alternative Text

It takes more than a promotion to make a great manager

There’s more to being a great manager than just being promoted into a new role. If organizations want to scale effective leadership across the business, it’s critical they lean into three key strategies.

Implement technology that supports manager and team success

This includes a continuous and guided performance management system. Plus, the people analytics that enable targeted training and development planning for everyone from C-Level leadership to entry level employees. The right people management platform can track manager performance and cultural wellness across every part of an organization.

Promote soft-skilled people

One of the most important qualities of great managers is knowing how to support their team. Managers who have little training on empathy or compassion are often left at a disadvantage. It trickles down through their team in the form of poor communication, unresolved conflict, and overall disengagement. Great managers grow with their people, and without soft-skills, they’ll quickly be overrun.

In fact, SHRM reported that 89% of employees who fail in the first 18 months of their job do so because of a lack of soft skills. When organizations bring new talent into a manager role, listening to how someone speaks about their accomplishments, or what it took to overcome a challenge can reveal a lot about how they work with a team. Avoiding the “hero” mentality could save organizations from a high-cost turnover. Instead, place those that take pride in being the “guide” for other’s success in manger roles. A teamwork mentality is a great indicator of someone who has the soft-skills necessary to manage a team.

Commit to their development

Our work with clients shows that organizations with fewer than 2,500 employees rarely provide training and development resources for managers on how to coach their team members. Simply put, managers need coaching too. Especially since they are in the best position to assess professional and personal needs of their teams. Give them the right tools, and you won’t just be retaining managers.

Without question, today’s managers face disruption from all angles. SHRM reports that 45 percent of employees work more hours during the week than they did before the pandemic. Creating purposeful and connected work environments has never been more relevant, or complex.

It’s no longer possible to just get by with old-school leadership skills or promotions based only on performance. For an organization to succeed, it needs skilled and empathetic managers who can meaningfully engage employees in order to drive the business forward. 

Managers are your greatest asset...

Learn how uMap™ can help your organization equip them with the purpose-driven tools that will secure the talent of their teams and help them become better managers. From employee driven analytics to a guided performance management platform, uMap™ lets you track employee wellness, build culture, and drive success at every level.


learn more
Alternative Text

✉️ Want culture-focused content delivered straight to your inbox?