Learning & Development

The Ever-Increasing Importance of Good Managers

Anyone watching old sitcoms from the mid- to late 20th century will likely see a stereotypical boss: authoritarian, demanding, and insensitive. The relationship between subordinate and manager was clear and one-sided: The subordinate was there to do the manager’s bidding and support the manager in whatever the manager needs.

Managers as Coaches

While much of that portrayal is hyperbole, it’s certainly true that managers today are expected to be more coach and mentor than task master compared with previous generations. At the same time, many traditional expectations of managers remain; they’re still expected to achieve certain objectives and facilitate a certain level of productivity from their teams.

In fact, bad managers make work worse for employees.

The Impact of Bad Managers

Recently released data from HR tech company Humu shows that 95% of employees say a bad manager makes work worse. That concept shouldn’t be surprising; one’s manager is a fundamental element of work life, and a bad manager understandably makes work life less bearable. The surprising aspect is the almost universal support for this finding, with 95% of respondents agreeing with each other.

Conversely, Humu reports that “employees who have a manager that makes an effort to help them combat burnout are 13x more likely to be satisfied with their manager and 3.1x less likely to feel exhausted or overwhelmed.”

The Impact of Good Managers

Managers have always been important to businesses’ functioning well, but in recent years, their role has taken on a greater level of importance when it comes to overall employee satisfaction; this employee satisfaction has also become increasingly important as corporate output is tied ever more closely to employee engagement and as current labor market conditions continue to make finding and retaining employees a challenge.

Humu surveyed 240 full-time U.S. employees to better understand the impact of good (and bad) managers, and you can view the full report attached and the blog here.