Nothing fixes a bad manager

Companies seem to try everything imaginable to fix their workplaces, says Gallup Chairman and CEO Jim Clifton in a recent blog post, except the only thing that matters: naming the right person manager. SPONSORED CONTENT

July 07, 2014 |
Steven Burns

Photo: jesadaphorn via FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Companies seem to try everything imaginable to fix their workplaces, says Gallup Chairman and CEO Jim Clifton in a recent blog post, except the only thing that matters: naming the right person manager.

“Leaders go to seminars, hire consultants, and employ a long list of interventions – competencies, 360s, and so forth,” he writes. “I don’t think any of them work. What’s worse, nobody really cares that they don’t work.”?

Clifton says most CEOs he knows are indifferent to employees, putting pressure on their Human Resources departments to get their workplace cultures right.  ??

According to two large-scale studies conducted by Gallup, only 30 percent of U.S. employees are engaged at work. This number has been consistent over the past 12 years, suggesting that the vast majority of employees are failing to develop and contribute at work.

Gallup estimates that managers account for 70 percent of variance in employee engagement scores across business units. “When managers have real management talent, workgroups develop and win customers,” Clifton writes. “When managers don’t have that talent, human development freezes and workgroups fail.” ??

The Gallup research also uncovered that companies fail to choose the candidate with the right talent for the job 82 percent of the time. 

"Authentic management talent is very rare,” he writes. “Gallup research shows that just one in 10 have the natural, God-given talent to manage. Those gifted people know how to motivate every individual on their team; boldly review performance; build relationships; overcome adversity; and make decisions based on productivity, not politics. A manager with no real talent for the job will deal with workplace problems through manipulation and unhelpful office politics, because they lack the inner personal courage required to manage teams effectively."

Gallup also found that another two in 10 people have some characteristics of basic managerial talent and can function at a high level if their company coaches and supports them.

Read more on the Gallup Chairman’s Blog. 

Editor's note: This is sponsored content. The text was provided by the sponsor company. 

Steven Burns | The Business Behind Design

Steven Burns, FAIA spent 14 years managing the firm Burns + Beyerl Architects, and during that time the firm’s earnings grew at an average rate of 24% per year. After founding his own software company, Steve took his management expertise to BQE Software, where he is refining their business strategy and product development for the company’s groundbreaking project accounting solution, BQE Core.

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