Saturday, July 12, 2008

Management old wives tales 101: Maybe the manager isn't as important as we think!

I feel like I have been in the 'busting old wives' tales business for the past year. I keep doing research that finds results that are counter to what everything "thinks" is the truth. I'm going to talk about a few of these over the next few months. The first one is:

The direct manager is most important for retention and engagement.

Not so - not for everyone!

I'm not saying that this research is absolutely exhaustive, but in at least three fairly large studies I've found the following:

* Lower and average performing employees are more likely to leave because of their manager.

* High performing employees really don't care about he manager; they leave due to culture.

In fact, engaged and higher performing employees seem to not care too much about the manager. From reviewing the data, my sense is that they know they can do well with or without their managers. They can get transferred, work around their manager, get a new job, etc.

But the 'not so outstanding worker' - for that person, the manager really matters. They probably need more help, more direction, and maybe because they know they are not going 'above and beyond' at work, they need the manager to really like them .. because if the manager doesn't like them, then they may start seeing consequences that they won't like.



2 comments:

Ken Brown said...

Cites, please! Thanks!

Theresa M. Welbourne said...

Hi Ken, these data are from case studies I have been doing and not published yet. I can send you some detailed information if you are interested. Thanks for the request.