People management provider Advanced surveyed over 1,350 employees across a broad range of sectors in the UK and USA to find out exactly how people are being managed. Here’s what they said:
92% of managers feel capable of providing support to employees who are experiencing burnout, but only 52% of employees say their manager helps them avoid burnout at work.More managers than ever (72%) say they are having performance conversations with employees at least once a month. This contrasts starkly with employees when asked the same question: only 25% of employees say this is true.2 in 5 employees (39%) take a negative view of the performance management at their organisation
It is clear that there is a disconnect between how confident managers are in their team support, and the way their employees actually feel about it. Although it may sound cliché, it’s widely acknowledged that ineffective management contributes to low engagement, productivity, and high employee turnover. So why does this disconnect exist?
Nick Gallimore, Managing Director of Advanced People Management, says: “Whilst the science of performance is clear, many of us are still choosing to do something else. We’re choosing to set our people goals that they forget to engage with. We’re choosing to save up feedback for end-of-year conversations that everyone hates, and we’re choosing the ritualistic and pointless behaviour of performance ratings over good quality coaching.”
One of the main reasons for the disconnect between employees and their managers seems to be a lack of clear communication. The report states: “90% of HR directors think their organisation is communicating wider company directives effectively with staff. Yet whilst 79% of managers feel equipped to communicate these points, only 30% of employees feel communication is something their company does well.“
Additionally, the report states that a quarter of employees don’t feel secure in their current roles and are concerned about:
Redundancy in their own role (44%) Pay cuts or freezes (51%) Redundancy in the wider team (34%)
Anxiety around job security was particularly high in 18 – 24-year-olds, with 36% of employees in this age bracket not feeling secure in their roles. 42% of employees in this age bracket say that the lack of support and guidance are their top concerns in their work life, a huge rise compared to all other age categories surveyed. 72% of 18 – 24-year-olds say that they definitely or would strongly consider moving to another organisation that supports stress and burnout.
The vast majority (91%) of HR directors believe that burnout is an issue, with 42% of the workforce being more stressed than last year, and only 21% feeling less stressed. Nick Gallimore says: “Wellbeing is intrinsically linked with performance, productivity and engagement. If businesses don’t act now, the problem is just going to get worse, and they will only have themselves to blame.”
Against the backdrop of “the Great Resignation”, we have seen that high employee turnover creates an artificial labour shortage. While it looks like employee retention will seem like less of an issue for many, as the market has started to cool as vacancy volumes start to level off and job-seeker volumes start to rise, Nick Gallimore predicts that it won’t last: “In reality, the fundamentals of the great resignation are still there. Employee engagement levels remain at rock-bottom levels, the cost-of-living crisis has left us all feeling the pressure in our pockets, and we’re all still seeking a better work-life balance. When confidence comes back to market, those same issues will rear their heads again.”
With this, leadership teams should take proactive steps to bridge the gap between managers and employees, implementing a performance management strategy that adds value to both the bottom line and the well-being of their workforce.
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