The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development‘s (CIPD) Autumn 2016 Employee Outlook report is out and there is still much to be done to boost employee coaching, feedback, learning and development. Some of the key findings reveal:
- Just over 30 percent of employees felt that their managers were fairly poor or very poor at coaching them on the job .
- About one-quarter of employees said their manager was poor at discussing training and development needs.
- Only about one-third of employees see a clear link between pay and performance.
By making small but significant changes, organisations can address continuing issues such as a lack of feedback, poor development opportunities, and a disconnect between performance and compensation.
Here are three ways organisations can improve the manager-employee relationship and help employees perform to their potential:
1. Improve leadership skills of frontline managers
The CIPD report found that roughly the same amount of people disagree (31 percent) or agree (37 percent) that their organisation inspires them to perform at a high level at work. This can be a due to a combination of things, such as feeling connected or motivated by the organisation’s purpose, being challenged with projects or assignements, or even understanding what the organisation’s strategy is – something that nearly half of the respondents in the CIPD’s report say they have limited information about.
To help boost employees performance and engagement, it’s important for managers to understand the unique needs and motivators of each individual on their team. Gaullp’s State of the American Manager report found that managers can account for up to 70 percent of variance in employee engagement.
Simple steps, such as training managers on how to coach employees and give effective feedback, how to manage and communicate with different personalities, and how to get the most out of performance management tactics such as one-on-one meetings can help build better relationships between managers and employees.
2. Expand learning and development opportunities
While nearly half of employees surveyed in the latest CIPD report said that their organisation gave them opportunities to learn and grow, more than one-quarter of employees say they don’t get enough learning and development opportunities. In addition, nearly one-quarter of employees said they were dissatisfied with the number of opportunities they had to develop their skills on the job.
Learning and development are important for retaining and engaging employees. The CIPD’s report found that two of the most popular forms of training, on-the-job training and learning from peers, were also found to be the most useful for employees and organisations. These insights show that companies may benefit from simple changes such as:
- Creating time and space for employees to learn and develop skills
- Linking skills development to business objectives
- Establishing mentoring groups for new employees
- Offering opportunities for high potentials to meet industry leaders, take part in retreats or attend conventions
3. Clearly link performance and pay
More than half of employees surveyed by CIPD do not believe their pay is linked to performance . In addition, only 61 percent of employees who have a performance management process believe their line managers are very effective or fairly effective at communicating objectives and expectations. This presents an opportunity to discuss the importance of the manager’s role in compensation, especially in organisations that have moved from numerical ratings to compensation based on feedback and performance.
Ongoing manager-employee check-ins give managers a better view into employee performance and allows employees to quickly make changes to improve their work. This helps make a clear link between pay and performance. HR should educate leaders to ensure they have the tools and knowledge needed to recommend appropriate salary increases and the ability to communicate these developments with employees.
The manager’s role in employee engagement and job satisfaction
The CIPD Autumn Employee Outlook report confirms that employees want their managers to provide regular coaching and feedback about their performance, an investment from the organisation they work for in their growth and development, and better communication when it comes to compensation and performance.
And it’s no surprise that the leadership skills of frontline managers is critical for ensuring employees get what they need so they can perform to their potential. By giving managers the tools, training and resources they need to coach and develop employees, organisations not only help employees, but also make managers better leaders.
Nina Mehta-Vania is a Talent Management Consultant at Halogen Software. She’s responsible for delivering continuous advancement consulting services to clients across EMEA. Nina works with clients to evaluate their talent management strategy to structure the best solution for their talent requirements.