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Financial Release

06/07/18

Experts Identify What the Best Managers Do to Develop Employees in Today's Work Environment

ARLINGTON, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jun. 7, 2018-- Only 40 percent of employees believe their managers help them develop the skills they need for their current role, according to CEB, now Gartner. Even fewer employees agree their manager is effectively preparing them for their future careers. As a result, a large number of employees feel unprepared for both their current and prospective career paths.

Gartner surveyed 7,300 employees and managers across 25 industries and interviewed and surveyed more than 300 HR executives to categorize managers' development approaches, and pinpoint what managers can do to better serve the emerging development needs of their employees.

In studying the connection between development approaches and employee performance, the research revealed one clear winner: Connector Managers. In fact, employees under the direction of Connector Managers are three times as likely as those of other types to be high performers.

Connector Managers give targeted coaching and feedback in their areas of expertise, otherwise, they connect employees with others on their team or within the organization who are better suited to the task. Compared with the other three approaches identified, these managers focus more on assessing the skills, needs and interests of their employees, and they recognize that some skills are best taught by people other than themselves.

"Most people think that a great manager is about providing ongoing, continuous coaching and feedback across all aspects of an employee's work," said Jaime Roca, HR practice leader at Gartner. "However, our research finds that approach can actually reduce employee performance by up to 8 percent. The 'Always-on' manager often provides misguided, irrelevant or too much feedback."

"In the case of Connector Managers, their coaching puts more weight on asking the right questions, giving tailored feedback and being the link between them and other colleagues who can help the performance of their employees," said Sari Wilde, research leader for Gartner's HR practice.

Gartner experts identified three other manager approaches to employee development:

Teacher Managers develop employees on the basis of their own experience and expertise, offering advice-oriented feedback and personally directing development.

Always-On Managers provide frequent coaching and give feedback across a wide variety of skills. These managers treat upgrading their employee's skills as a daily part of their job.

Cheerleader Managers have a more hands-off approach, giving positive feedback and putting employees in charge of their own development. They are approachable and supportive, but they are not as proactive as the other manager types when it comes to developing employee skills.

To help managers implement a Connector Manager approach, Gartner urges them to focus less on the frequency of their conversations surrounding development and more on connecting them with the right individuals and experiences for development.

"Managers should focus on diagnosing individual employee needs and motivations," said Ms. Wilde. "Connector Managers create an environment that encourages transparency and skill sharing within their teams so that employees can learn from one another, not overrelying on managers for everything."

"For managers, the development of their employees doesn't stop with them, but expands in the valuable connections they make on their behalf," Mr. Roca said.

To learn more, listen to our webinar on June 28, 2018. Gartner for HR Leaders clients can also read about the New Manager Mandate.

About Gartner for HR Leaders

Gartner for HR Leaders brings together the best, relevant content approaches across Gartner and CEB to offer individual decision makers strategic business advice on the mission-critical priorities that cut across the HR function. Additional information is available at https://www.cebglobal.com/member/hr-int/about.html.

About Gartner ReimagineHR

Gartner ReimagineHR is the premier event for HR leaders around the world. Join CEB, now Gartner, and senior HR executives to hear key insights and learn actionable strategies necessary to support organizational performance. Gartner ReimagineHR will be held September 5-6 in London, and October 28-30 in Florida. Follow news and updates from these events on Twitter using #GartnerHR.

About CEB, Now Gartner

Leading organizations worldwide rely on CEB services to harness their untapped potential and grow. Now offered by Gartner, CEB best practices and technology solutions equip clients with the intelligence to effectively manage talent, customers and operations. More information is available at gartner.com/ceb.

About Gartner

Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT), is the world's leading research and advisory company and a member of the S&P 500. We equip business leaders with indispensable insights, advice and tools to achieve their mission-critical priorities and build the successful organizations of tomorrow.

Our unmatched combination of expert-led, practitioner-sourced and data-driven research steers clients toward the right decisions on the issues that matter most. We're trusted as an objective resource and critical partner by more than 15,000 organizations in more than 100 countries — across all major functions, in every industry and enterprise size.

To learn more about how we help decision makers fuel the future of business, visit www.gartner.com.

Source: Gartner

Gartner
Sarah Morris, +1 (571) 458-3022
Sarah.Morris@gartner.com

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