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Manager Effectiveness

Empower Managers with Coaching and Feedback

Leaders impact an organization’s performance, ability to recruit and retain top talent, and the employee experience overall. To build strong leaders, organizations need to evaluate managers through the lens of their people, and then help them understand how to build trust with their people, encourage engagement, and promote well-being.

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“In today’s always-on workplace and highly competitive labor market, managers and leaders need advice and support in the flow of work. Cultivate delivers this with impact.”

Josh Bersin, Global industry analyst

Support every manager

Cultivate by Perceptyx is a hyper-personalized, privacy protected, and scalable manager effectiveness solution to nurture managers into leaders and drive performance and profitability. Cultivate 360 Feedback helps managers assess their effectiveness in relation to your organization’s leadership competency model, while Cultivate Intelligent Coaching provides always-on, AI-powered coaching in the flow of work, grounded in observed behaviors and identified blind spots.

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Augment human coaching

Cultivate extends coaching beyond executives and high performers to drive learning for all managers–at a fraction of the cost–with AI-powered coaching. It makes human coaching more objective and measurable by integrating real time insights observed from within managers’ daily flow of work, to deliver a hyper-personalized coaching experience for every manager, based on observed behaviors and identified growth areas.

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Focus on what matters most

Provide managers with tailored feedback to accelerate their leadership potential. Cultivate 360 Feedback reports pinpoint strengths and skills to develop as actionable insights that help managers motivate and retain their people. Cultivate Intelligent Coaching provides managers personalized feedback in their flow of work, and delivers guidance from Harvard Business Publishing, LinkedIn Learning, and their own LMS to drive measurable behavior change.

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Accelerate organizational health

Align with your leadership competency model to identify the behaviors and tendencies managers should refine to model leadership for their teams. Our solution can also integrate data from other employee listening channels to connect data about an onboarding experience with team engagement over time. Ultimately, the Cultivate solution can boost business outcomes such as innovation and profitability by reinforcing the leadership best practices that encourage engagement, well-being, psychological safety, and manager trust.

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The Top 5 Traits of an Effective Manager

Competence

This measures a manager’s skill and bias towards action to achieve the best results for their team.

Decisiveness

This determines how willing a manager is to make tough decisions quickly and be accountable for resolving issues.

Empathy

This assesses how well a manager listens to others, interprets their meaning quickly, and generates trust.

Openness

This gauges a manager’s ability to seek out new ideas and opinions, and receive constructive feedback with an open mind.

Appreciation

This assesses how often a manager recognizes, appreciates, and rewards people for good performance.

  • “Learning is the linchpin–the most critical piece for developing skills, enabling growth, fostering future talent, and resolving the talent crisis of today.”

    Josh BersinGlobal Industry Analyst, The Josh Bersin Company
  • “As a people leader myself, Cultivate gives me personal and objective feedback that I can’t get from traditional forms of self-reporting.”

    Dan HealyGlobal Head of Human Resources, SAP
  • “Working with Perceptyx allowed us to identify and develop a resource for leaders that makes a big difference. Once we spent time equipping leaders with the right skills, it started paying off.”

    Qiana WilliamsChief Diversity & Inclusion Officer and Vice President of Human Resources, Ohio Health

Understanding Our Approach to Manager Effectiveness

What is Manager Effectiveness?

Manager effectiveness is the level of a manager’s ability to achieve their individual and team goals while also mentoring, developing, and engaging their direct reports to do their best work. Essentially, it measures an individual’s likelihood of being or becoming an inspiring leader and role model for their organization who drives business outcomes.

To measure this ability, it’s necessary to define the qualities or traits of “top talent” that managers need. While leadership qualities can be company-specific, there are some shared characteristics that inspiring managers typically possess. At Perceptyx, we believe these traits fall into five categories: competence, decisiveness, empathy, openness, and appreciation.

If your company has hired a manager who has all of these traits, then you’ve far exceeded the norm! Recruiting and hiring someone with all of these qualities is rare. In fact, the Harvard Business Review outlines how companies choose the right leaders only 18% of the time. Given this, most organizations need a solution to help managers know how they’re performing and what they need to do differently - for their own growth and their company’s.

Why Is it Important to Define Manager Effectiveness?

Given that many organizations grapple with employee burnout, attrition, hybrid work strategies, as well as a potential recession, it’s become even more critical for companies to define the traits of an inspiring leader. Once your company defines these, you can measure the extent to which your managers already possess them. Then you can acknowledge those top managers who model leadership for your company. This gives other managers a clear understanding of what leadership looks like and also demonstrates appreciation for managers meeting these criteria. Together, this clarity and positive recognition can drive retention.

Defining these qualities also helps managers recognize where they need to improve or change behaviors. This tells them what they need to do next, and helps them be accountable for these actions. This clear definition of their skill gaps gives them a north star to aspire to, and a roadmap of clear steps to reach it. Having this intelligence also helps the HR and learning and development team know which managers need support most, where to focus in terms of education and behavior change, and what resources will advance them forward.

Giving managers a clear definition of what they need to succeed also demonstrates the company’s commitment to employee growth. A 2022 survey by Prudential reported that 80% of job hunters say that growth opportunities are a factor driving their job search. Therefore this commitment to developing manager effectiveness can help attract, hire, and retain top talent.

Knowing exactly which traits are needed to advance improves the overall employee experience—and therefore engagement—for your company. Having this definition focuses the work for:

  1. Managers showing the most leadership potential
  2. Managers who need further development
  3. HR and learning and development teams who support both of these groups

Furthermore, developing inspiring leaders also improves the experience for everyone working with those ideal managers. A Perceptyx study with a Fortune 500 industrial supply company showed a 50% increase in the odds of a team member being disengaged when reporting to a disengaged manager. It also showed an 80% increase when reporting to a manager who didn’t even complete the survey.

How Does Perceptyx Measure Manager Effectiveness?

At Perceptyx, we believe measuring manager effectiveness is essential to understanding how to nurture leaders who generate a people experience that drives business outcomes. We created Cultivate 360 Feedback to help managers assess their effectiveness in relation to your organization’s leadership competency model, and Cultivate Intelligent Coaching to provide managers coaching in the flow of work, grounded in their observed behaviors and identified blind spots.

Cultivate 360 Feedback helps managers recognize their skill gaps and maximize their strengths, and help HR and learning and development teams know how to support them. For both higher and lower performers, Perceptyx provides constructive feedback from multiple sources who are most likely to provide an accurate, balanced evaluation. 360 Feedback also identifies the factors that disrupt team collaboration and trust, and reinforces the practices and behaviors that drive their success.

But how does Cultivate 360 Feedback measure manager effectiveness? The Perceptyx team of experts craft survey questions to identify the genuine experience others have working with a manager. The questions also draw out the manager’s unconscious behaviors that are helping or hurting their positive influence. Like all surveys, 360- and 180-degree surveys typically succeed on the strength of question design. The People Analytics Playbook outlines what companies should be asking in surveys and how they should ask them, depending on what they are trying to accomplish. Companies can craft their own strategy, or partner with us to craft the best path to meet their desired outcomes.

Our questions draw out how well a manager inspires their people, and also how well they complete their work priorities. Work priority questions focus on: clarity about job and performance expectations, regularity and usefulness of performance feedback, fairness and transparency of performance evaluations, recognition of accomplishments, and communication and support for employee development.

To measure how well a manager inspires their people, participants respond to rating questions such as:

“My manager shows respect for employees.”

“My manager’s behavior reflects company values.”

“I feel comfortable approaching my manager for discussion.”

“My manager seeks ideas from employees and responds to them.”

“My manager promotes teamwork.”

For these rating questions, we use a Likert scale to measure agreement, effectiveness, or satisfaction. We also recommend including open-ended and tile and drill question types. For open-ended questions, employees can offer insights and actions for improvement. For the tile and drill questions, raters choose items that are most important to them and then rate the person’s skill on each item selected. Each of these questions helps focus development programs on areas that will most likely drive manager success.

Once the survey launches, our people analytics engine integrates multiple sources of feedback to generate simple but personalized reports. These indicate the barriers blocking a manager’s performance to address and the achievement factors to reinforce. Participants, administrators, and coaches can easily access and manage both the surveys and reports through our centralized Listening Home.

Check out our blog, “360 Degree Surveys: The Most Important Things To Know.”

How Can Companies Improve Their Manager Effectiveness?

To improve manager effectiveness, organizations need a hyper-personalized and scalable solution that provides managers holistic support when, where, and how they need in order to lead their team and drive business outcomes. Particularly with today’s digital work environment, this solution needs to nurture managers as they work in hybrid and distributed workplaces, and increasingly interact with people over digital platforms like Slack and Teams.

With Cultivate 360 Feedback, an organization assesses their managers’ effectiveness in relation to their leadership competency model. This is a critical first step to help managers–and their teams–to do their best work. The 360 feedback creates a baseline for each manager and a clear roadmap of the qualities and behaviors to focus on–and often correct–to improve the performance and experience of their team. Organizations can also combine data from other Perceptyx listening channels to change behavior and improve leadership over time. As each manager goes through this development process, the company expands its leadership pool exponentially.

Then with Cultivate Intelligent Coaching, managers can opt-in to gain always-on, AI-powered coaching based on their observable behaviors. This coaching draws on top-tier resources like Harvard Business Publishing to provide real-time guidance on how to shift their behavior to improve team motivation and productivity. This coaching augments human coaching as it drives behavior changes for continuous improvement through AI-powered guidance that gets smarter over time–at a fraction of the cost.

How Should a Company Select their Manager Effectiveness Solution?

The ideal solution includes a flexible platform, deep domain expertise, and an outcome-driven customer success team. Your manager effectiveness solution will shape how your managers learn, grow, advance, and lead. Rather than offering a cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all program, an ideal vendor will have the flexibility to align the solution to your company’s competency model or help you create this model. Essentially, this vendor will help define the right solution to assess and reinforce those qualities that will drive your company’s people and business strategy.

We created our Perceptyx Cultivate solution to include 360 feedback so managers can see how others see them, and know where they can change their behavior to lead more effectively. The solution also integrates data from other Perceptyx listening channels to show connections between your people strategy and business strategy, such as how manager effectiveness impacts employee engagement and your bottom line. Cultivate also includes always-on, AI-powered coaching that guides managers in the flow of work to make measurable behavior changes that drive better engagement, well-being, and overall organizational health.

Resources

Discover Cultivate to Increase Your Manager Effectiveness

A People Leader’s Guide to Intelligent Coaching

Learn how Cultivate can improve manager-team relationships through real-time, actionable feedback.

Download A People Leader’s Guide to Intelligent Coaching

How AI-Powered Coaching Elevates Leaders and Transforms Organizations

Learn how Intelligent Coaching democratizes leadership development.

Read more about How AI-Powered Coaching Elevates Leaders and Transforms Organizations

Employee Survey Questions About Management & Leadership: What To Measure

Learn how employee surveys can gauge employee perceptions about the effectiveness of your leaders and managers.

Read more about Employee Survey Questions About Management & Leadership: What To Measure

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Ask

Employee surveys to illuminate the employee experience

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Crowdsourced insights to engage your people on the topics that matter most

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Sense

Lifecycle surveys and always-on listening to keep pace with your people

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Cultivate

Understand and build the skills your managers need now to help guide the organization toward a more diverse, inclusive, and equitable workplace

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