- Managers' top challenge as people leaders, by a wide margin, is juggling team management with other responsibilities, according to 68% of respondents in a new survey conducted by SoapBox. Hitting team goals came in a distant second (14%), followed by obtaining team collaboration (11%) and retaining employees (4%).
- The survey of more than 200 people-managers across various industries, experience levels and company sizes revealed that 37% of managers feel the most important part of their management role is keeping the team on track to achieve goals. Twenty-six percent said it was providing direct reports with growth and development opportunities, and 22% said it was to "remove blockers" from their team.
- Managers are in close contact with their teams, with 94% reporting that they have one-on-one meetings. Slack is a common team communication tool used by 54% of respondents. Despite technology, remote managers find employee retention much more challenging than onsite managers do. Seventeen percent of remote managers cited this as their top challenge, versus just 3% of onsite managers.
"Managers are the single most important driver of employee performance, engagement and happiness," said Brennan McEachran, co-founder and CEO of SoapBox, in a news release about the study. This corresponds with other research showing the importance of work-life balance and company culture to workers' engagement, productivity, and overall happiness at work.
A positive employee experience also directly correlates with stronger financial performance, according to Willis Towers Watson (WTW) research. WTW found that organizations with a strong employee experience achieve higher returns on assets and equity, along with improved profitability and revenue.
This may be a chicken-and-egg situation — it's possible that high-performing organizations are willing and able to invest more in employees' training, development, and overall experience — but there's no question that front-line managers and supervisors are a key part of why employees stay at an organization, or why they leave.