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