57% of people have left jobs because of their managers (1), so even if you haven’t, you definitely know someone that has.
Google’s Project Oxygen was wonderfully notorious on this matter. In a genuinely scientific effort they set out to prove that managers don’t matter… and failed spectacularly.
But how much do managers matter? Beyond the intuitive arguments, what is the actual business case for managers needing to be great coaches and to be coached themselves?
And what can senior leadership do to help produce real change that gets measurable results?
It’s through this lens that we will revisit the McKinsey & Company article The boss factor: Making the world a better place through workplace relationships by Tera Allas & Bill Schaninger.
The McKinsey article gives us some compelling reasons why stakeholders should be fully onboard with giving all of their managers the resources they need to be successful.
McKinsey makes the following observations coming from shareholders and other stakeholders:
And here are three extremely important sources of documented benefits:
Countless studies show the empirical link between employee satisfaction, customer loyalty, and profitability.
A large-scale meta-analysis found that business units with top-quartile employee engagement achieved operating-profit margins that were one to four percentage points higher than those in the bottom quartile.(5)
Employee satisfaction has also been shown to contribute directly to shareholder value.(1)
There are clearly rock-solid logical and practical reasons for senior leaders to step up and embrace the kind of support for their managers that will increase both the shareholder and social valuation.
It may seem simple, but after decades of emphasis on "command-and-control", it really does come down to the fact that the link between employee and manager is a relationship, and the factors that make every relationship successful are universal:
Organizations often present their managers with conflicting directives: get higher productivity and efficiency, and... do it "this" way. The last thing an organization should want is managers going "off book" to get results, but years of "this is the way we've always done it" can trigger just that.
Luckily , transitioning your environment to a modern one that reinforces the management behaviors that truly make a difference isn't magic: the principles needed to create change are well established (check out our video Managing Change and Fostering a Culture of Agility with Marion Gamel here!):
BetterManager has coached and trained over 3000 managers and leaders from more than 100 different companies in 10 different languages across the world, and those numbers are growing every quarter. Our leadership team is dedicated to Elevating the Human Experience in the workplace, because employee engagement has been demonstrated over and over to be the biggest driver to increase employee satisfaction, recruiting, retention, and productivity.
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(1) Frontline Leadership Project, DDI World
(2) The boss factor: Making the world a better place through workplace relationships, McKinsey & Company
(3) The ESG premium, McKinsey & Company
(4) Diversity wins: How inclusion matters, McKinsey & Company
(5) James K. Harter, Theodore L. Hayes, and Frank L. Schmidt, “Business-unit-level relationship between employee satisfaction, employee engagement, and business outcomes: A meta-analysis,” Journal of Applied Psychology, 2002, Volume 87, Number 2, pp. 268–79.