During the Summer of 2016 Harris Interactive conducted a survey of the working population asking them about their perceptions about many aspects of their working lives. The purpose of this survey was multifaceted, with key objectives:
There were many startling findings that bucked the trends found in traditional survey benchmarking including our own, but one of the most interesting was when we delved into the detail by key subpopulations.
It is commonly published that people leave organisations because of their immediate manager, so we investigated some of the differences in opinions given by disengaged managers (DM) Vs engaged managers (EM).
We see that disengaged managers seem to give a zero vote of confidence in the leadership of their organisations.
Managers are the go between to pass important information through to their direct reports, to help manage important change and to feed back up the ideas and opinions. If disengaged managers have zero trust in their leadership then this vital chain is immediately broken.
The Harris ENPS measures employee propensity to recommend the products and services of the organisation they work for. Disengaged managers don’t feel their organisation is focused on the right things, and don’t have a clear understanding of what their organisation is trying to achieve.
If they don’t understand their organisations ambitions, how can these managers then translate this to their own direct reports? How can they sell the purpose of their organisation to win the hearts and minds of their team if they don’t believe in that purpose themselves?
Are disengaged managers being managed by other disengaged managers?
An engaged manager would potentially have better communication with their direct reports, and give them regular feedback, all part of having good people manager skills.
Career development is typically a high driver of engagement in many organisations and is also often a determinant of if you feel valued by your organisation, so no surprise that disengaged managers have such a low level of satisfaction.
Remember though that these are direct managers themselves, so If they have low satisfaction and information in relation to their own career development, would this impact on their capacity for helping the career progress of those they manage?
There is a low correlation between disengagement and propensity to leave.
There’s a much higher propensity for the disengaged manager to be hanging around in the organisation, and just because they are disengaged, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are much more likely to want to leave and progress their career elsewhere.
One question you may wish to consider in all the above is how this compares to the scores collected via a traditional benchmark, or in a traditional employee survey. Well in general the scores given in the traditional benchmark tend to be more favourable. If you consider what type of organisation may pay to have an employee survey conducted for them, would you assume that they may be a better organisation to work for just by the fact that they are concerned enough about their employees’ opinion to invest in and commission a survey? When comparing your own employee opinion, do you want to know how your employees compare to those of other organisations paying for an employee survey with that 1 provider, or would you like to know how they compare to how people are feeling in a wider mix?