New research finds that less than half of managers receive training on how they can most effectively support their employees. Additionally, the report highlights the link between engaged employees and effective managers, drawing attention to the necessary training HR must provide to managers.

A new report by Achievers, an employee voice and recognition solution company, emphasises the lack of effective training managers are currently receiving that would allow them to support employees.

According to the data, under half of managers (48 per cent) have been trained in key areas such as one-to-one meetings, coaching, employee recognition or professional development.

However, this is not consistent across the board. Whilst 48 per cent of managers stated that they were trained on how to deal with one-to-one meetings, only around a quarter (27 per cent) were trained on setting performance goals. On average, roughly a third of managers were trained in each area above – meaning most managers are left to pick up best practices on their own.

When asked what would be the most helpful area to be trained in, around a fifth (21 per cent) said professional development training and support is a key area which would allow them to then help their teams.

The report further finds the clear link between managers who are well trained and employees who are engaged.

Overwhelmingly, 95 per cent of employees who would recommend their managers – a key measure of management effectiveness – also reported that they were engaged. Additionally, respondents who have managers that regularly recognise employees are 11 times more likely to recommend them.

Conversely, those who were disengaged were six times less likely to recommend their manager – highlighting a strong connection between employee engagement, effective managers and the training that managers receive.

To aid managers in their work, Achievers have advised the following to HR teams:

  • Training managers in crucial areas such as employee recognition, professional development, strength-based management and empathetic leadership
  • Creating a culture of recognition throughout the entire business, allowing managers to also mirror this and recognise employees’ strengths
  • Focussing on professional development – Putting in place professional development plans for individuals at all levels
  • Encouraging empathetic leadership throughout the training – Employers and HR teams should also model this to allow empathetic leadership to become part of the organisation

Dr. Natalie Baumgartnerh, Achievers Chief Workforce Scientist, said:

With less than half of employers training managers to coach and lead their teams, according to the survey, it represents a risk area for organisations. Our data shows that manager effectiveness directly impacts employee engagement, with recognition and professional development playing especially big roles in driving effectiveness.

Organisations need to offer widespread training to all managers to empower them to better lead their teams. If an organisation can empower all their managers to be great leaders, they will see direct business impact at every level.

Organisational leaders simply cannot expect managers to effectively support and engage their people without providing them with the tools, resources, and training to do so. Good managers become so through insight, development and support — essentially, empowerment. Conversely, bad managers are often actually just under-supported, under-developed, and under-engaged, themselves. Thus, it’s imperative that every organisation empowers their front line people leaders, their managers, with regular, consistent, cross-functional training for all managers.

*This research was taken from Achievers’ ‘Manager Empowerment Report’ which surveyed 2,094 employed respondents worldwide. This data is based on an internet survey conducted by the Achievers Workforce Institute in September 2020.