Why Managers Are So Important to Business Success

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Apr 25, 2013

Success in business happens because of successful employees. That being said, strong managers are one of the most critical components of Employee Success — after all, employees leave managers, not companies.

It’s important to focus directly on managers as a lever of engagement to recruit, retain, and inspire the greatest asset to your company: employees. To do this, provide the tools to be successful instead of expecting managers to be successful.

When looking at specific areas like recognition in the workplace, we see just how important managers are to success.

Management potential

For example, strong manager performance in recognizing employee performance increases engagement by almost 60 percent according to Towers Watson. Increased engagement leads to improved customer service. Better customer service means more loyal customers.

You get the idea. Even Peter Drucker — the man who invented management — said, “The productivity of work is not the responsibility of the worker but of the manager.”

But the front-line manager faces incredible stress. Between managing a team, driving results, and answering to leadership’s expectations, managers juggle competing goals and often work more or less in the dark. So how do we give managers the training and the best practices we need to make managers successful?

To start, we need to promote the right people. From the beginning, we often set up our managers for failure. We take our top performers and make them managers, but management is a completely different job.

Bringing in the highest sales numbers does not automatically equate to building and leading teams. Often you look back and realize you took a top performer and made them poor manager.

When looking at a potential manager, performance is an important part of the puzzle, but it’s not the whole picture. Great future-managers connect with teammates and influence coworkers. They engage teams and motivate them toward success, which can be done in part — but not entirely — by example.

At Achievers we create tools that empower and enable managers to engage their team, and also to measure an employee’s engagement with coworkers. Looking closely at recognition leaders and influencers provides a new perspective — and a new data-set — to pick the highest potential internal candidates for management.

Shedding light through analytics

Managers in 2013 face fewer resources, a mandate for employee engagement, and new talent battlefields, in addition to the usual responsibilities of inspiring a team and hitting company targets. With the metrics available today, there is no excuse to send management in blind.

It is easy enough to observe an employee’s usual hours and deadlines made or missed, but a thorough understanding of team attitudes, willingness and ability to help out, and performance under pressure requires more effort. But still, it’s important. Actionable insight can make or break teams and ensure your company is performing at its best.

We know that knowledge is power. That insight is the key to holding managers accountable and instilling personal responsibility in a manager’s team. That’s why we added Achievers Analytics and Manager’s Corner to our latest product release.

Setting clear goals and expectations is crucial, but needs to be paired with consistent support and measurements of success to be effective. By giving our managers access to metrics on engagement, recognition and influence, we paint a more vivid picture than just looking at sales numbers and hours worked.

By helping our managers do their jobs better, we build companies that work better overall. Managers need actionable insight to make better human capital decisions and move business forward.