Survey Results on perceptions between managers and employees

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1 Survey Results on perceptions between managers and employees

2 Our Aim Retention of talent remains one of the greatest challenges to organizations today. Likewise, one of the most salient variables influencing retention is the employee/manager relationship. From January 2006 to February 2006, Rowlands International conducted a survey, both in English and in French, on We were interested in investigating the nature of relationships, focusing on perceptions, between managers and employees. We specifically targeted a population of people who were either looking to leave their current organization or had already left. Marios PARAS, Managing Director, Rowlands International "People don't leave organizations, they leave their manager". This expression is quoted in so many HR courses and trainings that it has almost become a triviality. But the survey you are about to read underlines how true it is, how much effort and focus needs to be put on the manager-employee relationship and, most importantly, how gaps can be quite easily closed. To achieve this, it's however important to understand the source and nature of these misperceptions, which we tried to achieve with this survey. Monster.lu

3 Population/Sample Size: 717 people responded: 489 employees, 228 managers Gender: 75% of the managers and 56% of the employees who responded are male Age: 83% of managers and 80% of employees who responded were between the ages of years old Industry: The industry best represented is banking and finance: 21% of the responses Level: 30% of the employees who responded are managers themselves. We understand that the sample groups are biased and do not accurately represent the complex state of affairs in the workplace. After all, they are all looking for work. It can be assumed that some respondents have been unemployed for a while or expect to be without or need to search for a new job in the near future. Therefore, this sample may under represent people who are satisfied with their current work situation. It is also probable that while some respondents may have been fired, many others are effective employees and competent managers who are victims of re-organisations. We also understand that the managers who responded are not the managers of the employees who responded and vice versa. We do not claim therefore that this questionnaire is a scientific survey. This being said, we can assume that the results illustrate general trends in the perceptions managers and employees have of each other. Results The results of the survey are interesting and speak to powerful perceptions, often discrepant, held by each group. These perceptions directly influence the nature of the working relationship, productivity, employee satisfaction, and in the end, retention. Our assumption, based on a diversity of literature developed on the subject, was that one of the main variables influencing whether an employee remains in or leaves an organization is their relationship with their manager. Our aim was to further explore the nature of these relationships, both positives and negatives, and to shed light on some of the specific needs and perceptions determining these career decisions. The most surprising finding in our study was the significant number of discrepancies in perceptions between managers and employees, which raises the most obvious question, How can we work together effectively, let alone get along, if we do not agree on the state of our relationship in the first place? The most significant discrepancies about practices deemed regular by managers and occasional by employees are, in order of importance Q Managers say they regularly Employees say their Manager do that regularly only a fraction of the time 27 delivering what was promised 84% 28% 16 advocating for staff 81% 28% 18 Welcome suggestions 81% 42% 4 Evaluate staff's performance fairly 73% 30% 2 giving a clear sense of direction (q 2: 79% 79% 29% 15 supporting staff in learning from their mistakes 76% 27% 3 give clear objectives 71% 35% 17 encouraging teamwork (q 17: 88% - 40%) 88% 40% 1 being aware of what employees do everyday 79% 31% 7 giving positive feedback 76% 28% 28 assigning the right people to do the job 63% 17% 8 encouraging staff to give their best to the dept 76% 29% 21 Acknowledge and discuss conflicts with their staff 58% 20% Managers and employees agree on the following points: Q Managers say they regularly Employees agree 13 allowing staff to take risks 30% 33% 14 allowing staff to make mistakes 36% 27% 5 micromanaging staff 12% 19% 10 giving challenging assignments 37% 23% 11 trust their ability to handle challenging assignments 50% 49% Managers say they sometimes Employees agree 22 understand work life balance 43% 39% 23 allow staff sufficient flexibility to meet personal and family needs 39% 43% To go beyond issues of semantics and debating what managers do sometimesrather than regularly, we have looked at the questions where the managers perceive that they practice certain behaviors (if not regularly, at least sometimes) and yet the employees feel and report that these behaviors are NEVER practiced. For example, 90% of managers feel that they allow and welcome feedback on their own performance, {if not regularly (46%) at least sometimes (44%)}, while 53% of employees report that it is NEVER the case (q 19). A joint co-operation between Rowlands International and Monster.lu 03

4 Significant Discrepancies Found 40% of employees feel that their managers NEVER give them constructive criticism and identify their needs for development, while 97% of managers feel they do (q 9) 32% of employees feel that their managers NEVER support them in learning from their mistakes, while 99% of managers feel they do (q15) 32% of employees feel that their managers NEVER advocate for them, while 99% of managers feel they do (q16) 33% of employees feel that their managers NEVER encourage them to give their best to the department, while 97% of managers feel they do (q 8) 33% of employees feel that their managers NEVER conduct productive meetings, while 96% of managers feel they do (q 24) 28% of employees feel that their managers NEVER give them positive feedback on their accomplishments while 99% of managers feel they do (q 7) 32% of employees feel that their managers NEVER inform them of the professional standards and values that are expected of them while 93% of managers feel they do (q 6) 25% of employees feel that their managers NEVER use the resources available in the department while 100% of managers feel they do (q 12) 28% of employees feel that their managers NEVER give enough challenging assignments while 96% of managers feel they do (q 10) Only 40% of employees feel that their managers encourage teamwork and collaboration among colleagues. 88% of managers feel they do. (q 17) 33% of employees think their managers conduct poor, unproductive meetings and only 4% seem to be aware of that fact (q 24) 23% of employees feel that their managers NEVER manage their time properly while only 3% of managers agree (q 25) 41% of employees NEVER think of their manager at all as a role model on management practices, and would NEVER work under his/her supervision again if they had a choice while 96% of managers believe that they are role models (q 29) and only 4 % would stop supervising if they had a choice. 54% of employees feel that they are being set up for failure, while 70% of managers feel that they are NEVER guilty of such a thing (q 26) 98% of managers feel that they allow their employee to be creative, at least sometimes, while 22% of employees feel that it is NEVER the case (q 20) Food for thought for employees Where is the gap of communication? Your managers feel that they address most of your needs. What should they do to make you more aware of their good intentions? What is missing? How can they connect with you better? Food for thought for managers If your performance is what you think it is, how come your employees do not know it? Recommendations Overwhelmed by tasks and what to do, managers find themselves with little time or ability to address the how and why of what they do. We all have our blind spots, areas that others are aware of and perceive, but that we are blind to. Managers must check the perceptions of others, ask for feedback, and be conscious of the hidden dynamics influencing team communication and productivity. At Rowlands International, we wish to bridge the gap, and clear discrepancies, between a manager s assessment of themselves and how the people they manage experience them. Effective management necessitates open dialogue and a willingness and ability to address faulty assumptions, misconceptions, and discrepancies in perception. Starting September 2006, Rowlands International will be offering a variety of organizational services in Luxembourg, that combine 360 degree evaluations with training, coaching, and other process-oriented experiential programmes. The main focus of our initiatives will be to support managers in increasing their awareness and re-considering the nature of their relationship with the staff they supervise. Our interventions are aimed at raising a manager s ability to constantly and accurately assess themselves on critical management competencies, with the help of others, and consistently look for growth opportunities. Conclusion It is easy to put the blame on managers and accuse them of all kinds of wrong doing. Most managers have managers themselves and make similar claims about the person they report to. What we can conclude at the end of this survey is the tremendous need for dialogue, and an increased ability to assess one s own skills and abilities. So much time and energy is wasted on misconceptions, misperceptions and faulty assumptions, many of which could easily be corrected if communication channels were clear and open. That is exactly what we want to address at Rowlands International. This survey only reinforces our belief that what truly matters in an organization, is the quality of relationships between management and employees. To illustrate that point we advocate two major initiatives: Jump Start and Team Start. Typically, when a new manager is appointed to run an existing business unit, both the manager and the staff are unfamiliar with each other. This uncertain environment often leads to an inefficient, trial and error learning process that impedes organisational effectiveness. Jump Start is a process conducted by a neutral facilitator within the first weeks of a new manager s assignment, in order to help the manager and his/her staff to know each other better, clarify expectations and develop an inventory of business issues and challenges facing the group. It is designed to dramatically reduce the ambiguity and wasted efforts of a typical transition and set the tone for open communication and rapidly addressing business issues. Team Start is a facilitated process that allows a new group or an established group going through a transition, to set goals, clarify objectives and define responsibilities. The programme encourages creativity while at the same time uses tried and tested techniques to allow for a thorough assessment and disciplined goal setting process. At the end of the process the group will have defined a vision, identified Key Performance Indicators, performed an assessment of the current situation within the group, identified the strengths of all its members as well as clear goals for success and established responsibilities and interdependencies. Positively, you seem to be willing to trust your employees to handle challenging assignments ( q 11) and let them take risks (q 13) and make mistakes (q 14), but what would it take for them to truly feel encouraged to learn from their mistakes (q 15) or that you will advocate for them, (q 16) as you say you are willing to do? 04 A joint co-operation between Rowlands International and Monster.lu

5 Survey Results on perceptions between managers and employees MANAGER EMPLOYEE Question 1: As a manager, do you feel that in your last Question 1: Do you feel that your manager in your last or present job, you or present job 1: Are aware of what your employees do everyday 1: Is aware of what you do everyday 2: Give a clear sense of direction to your employees 2: Gives you a clear sense of direction 3: Tell them clearly what the objectives are for the upcoming year 3: Tells you what the objectives are for the upcoming year 4: Evaluate your staff s performance fairly 4: Is fair in his/her evaluation of your performance 5: Micromanage them 5: Micromanages you 6: Inform them about the professional standards and values 6: Informs you about the professional standards and values you stand for and you expect of them that are expected of you A joint co-operation between Rowlands International and Monster.lu 05

6 We know our job since we know yours. MANAGER Question 1: As a manager, do you feel that in your last or present job, you EMPLOYEE Question 1: Do you feel that your manager in your last or present job 7: Give them enough positive feedback on their accomplishments 7: Gives you positive feedback on your accomplishments 8: Encourage them to give their best to the department 8: Encourages you to give your best to your department 9: Give them constructive criticism and identify their needs 9: Gives you constructive criticism and identifies your needs for development for development 10: Give them enough challenging assignments 10: Gives you enough challenging assignments 11: Trust their ability to handle challenging assignments 11: Trusts your ability to handle challenging assignments 12: Use effectively the resources available in your department 12: Uses effectively the resources available in his/her department 06 A joint co-operation between Rowlands International and Monster.lu

7 MANAGER Question 1: As a manager, do you feel that in your last or present job, you EMPLOYEE Question 1: Do you feel that your manager in your last or present job 13: Allow them to take risks 13: Allows you to take risks 14: Allows them to make mistakes 14: Allows you to make mistakes 15: Support them in learning from their mistakes 15: Supports you in learning from your mistakes 16: Advocate for your staff 16: Advocates for you 17: Encourage team work and collaboration among colleagues 17: Encourages team work and collaboration among colleagues 18: Welcome suggestions 18: Welcomes suggestions A joint co-operation between Rowlands International and Monster.lu 07

8 Working together works. MANAGER Question 1: As a manager, do you feel that in your last or present job, you EMPLOYEE Question 1: Do you feel that your manager in your last or present job 19: Allow and welcome feedback on your performance 19: Allows and welcomes feedback on his/her performance 20: Allow your staff to be creative 20: Allows you to be creative 21: Acknowledge and discuss conflicts with your staff 21: Acknowledges and discusses conflicts with his/her staff 22: Understand life-work balance for yourself 22: Understands life-work balance for him/herself 23: Allow your staff sufficient flexibility to meet their family 23: Allows you sufficient flexibility to meet your family and personal needs and personal needs 24: Conduct productive meetings 24: Conducts productive meetings 08 A joint co-operation between Rowlands International and Monster.lu

9 MANAGER Question 1: As a manager, do you feel that in your last or present job, you EMPLOYEE Question 1: Do you feel that your manager in your last or present job 25: Manage time properly 25: Manages time properly 26: Set your staff up for failure 26: Sets you up for failure 27: Deliver what you promised 27: Delivers what he/she promises 28: Hire/assign the right people to do the job 28: Hires/assigns the right people to do the job 29: Act for your staff as a role model on management practices 29: Acts for you as a role model on management practices 30: If you had a choice, would you continue to supervise staff? 30: If you had a choice, would you continue to work or work again under his/her supervision? A joint co-operation between Rowlands International and Monster.lu 09

10 Survey Results on perceptions between managers and employees MANAGER EMPLOYEE Question 2: How old are you? Question 2: How old are you? Question 3: What is your sex? Question 3: What is your sex? Question 4: What is your career level? Question 4: What is your career level? Question 5: How many years of experience do you have? Question 5: How many years of experience do you have? 10 A joint co-operation between Rowlands International and Monster.lu

11 For more information or a free consultation, please contact us: Rowlands International S.A. 65, avenue de la Gare Tel: Fax: Disclaimer: 2006 Rowlands International. All the data, graphs, pictures and information are the exclusive property of Rowlands International. Designed by Kosmo

12 Depth, fluidity, impact. Executive Search that creates waves. For more than 50 years, Rowlands has been making the difference in executive search and human capital services. In hundreds of national and international job search assignments we fluidly and seamlessly meet the expectations of our clients. Thanks to our expertise and experience, we go further and deeper. As business completes for increasingly scarce talent, we are convinced that this is the best way to have an optimal impact on the current market. For more details about our specialist services: KOSMO Rowlands International S.A. 65, avenue de la Gare L-1611 Luxembourg Tel.: Fax:

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