Executives focus—with good reasons—on the lack of employee engagement that is pervasive in organizations. A 2013 Gallup poll found that only 13% of employees worldwide are engaged at work. But the real question to ask yourself as a manager is, “Am I a truly engaged manager?”
Ten years ago, research from Rainmaker Thinking, Inc. confirmed an epidemic of workplace under-management. The firm’s ongoing study reveals that under-managing remains rampant. A full 90% of all leaders and managers do not provide direct reports with sufficient guidance, support and coaching.
5 Management Tasks
So what qualifies as under-managing? It occurs when leaders with supervisory authority fail to regularly and consistently provide employees with five vital management basics:
- Clear statements of broad performance requirements and specific expectations
- Support and guidance regarding resources necessary to meet requirements and expectations
- Accurate monitoring, measurement and documentation of individuals’ actual performance
- Regular candid feedback about actual performance
- Rewards and penalties distributed in proportion to actual performance
Managers Are In Denial
What makes the problem worse is that most managers are unaware of their deficient administration:
- Fifty percent think they’re doing an “excellent” or “very good” job of managing direct reports.
- Twenty percent believe they’re doing a “reasonably good” job.
- Only 10% provide the necessary management basics at least once a week.
- Only 20% provide all of the basics at least once every two weeks.
- Only 30% provide all management basics at least once a month.
- Nearly 50% fail to provide all of the management basics to every direct report even once a year.
This is a problem. When employees aren’t getting enough good support but managers think they’re doing just fine, something’s wrong. Hopefully, this report will serve as a wake up call.