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Manager Effectiveness

Develop Strong Leaders Through
Employee 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 use this feedback to focus their development.

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“Accurately measuring the performance of managers provides information to improve business outcomes and ensure everyone is aligned and empowered to achieve the company vision, mission, and goals.”

Michael Mian, Perceptyx

Increase self-awareness

Cultivate by Perceptyx is a 360 feedback product designed to provide managers with a complete view of their strengths and areas for improvement. It invites input from sources most likely to experience the manager’s skills and development needs. These include peers, direct managers, and direct reports. Managers can also nominate their own rater group and complete a self-evaluation for a balanced assessment.

Prioritize the right success factors

Our report gives managers tailored feedback to accelerate their leadership potential. It pinpoints strengths to amplify and uphold as a model for others. It also pinpoints skills to develop, and directs managers to relevant resources and best practices. Also, the reports show HR and learning and development teams what type of support to deliver and where. The report includes internal benchmarks to contextualize feedback in relation to a managers’ environment or department.

Accelerate organizational health

Cultivate can align with your leadership competency model to pinpoint those managers who are most likely to thrive within your organization. We can also integrate data from other employee listening channels. This can connect factors like the onboarding experience with specific data about a manager's impact on their team's engagement over time. Also, inviting people to give and receive feedback on manager effectiveness demonstrates a company is committed to learning and growth, which both drive employee engagement.

The Top 5 Traits of an Effective Manager


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


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


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


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


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

  • “People have seen the fruits of sharing feedback. Now we’re using it smarter and employees know it’s definitely important—that we will listen and act. Perceptyx helps us do that. Without their tools and support, I don’t know if we would be where we are right now.”

    Erin OliverEmployee Experience Program Manager
  • “(Survey feedback) helps us be a better organization. If we have the data, there’s a reason for it—it gives us a good starting point for informing and advising our leaders.”

    Zoe GardnerHR Director
  • “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

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.

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 the high rate of attrition across industries today, it’s become even more critical for companies to define the traits of an inspiring leader. This definition provides an ideal leadership profile for focused recruiting and hiring. Also, 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. the managers who need further development, and

3. the 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 generating the right leadership culture for your company. We created Cultivate, our 360 feedback product, to enable organizations to engage and build the right leaders for their organization. Cultivate helps managers recognize their skill gaps and maximize their strengths, and helps 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. This solution also identifies the factors that disrupt team collaboration and trust, and reinforces the practices and behaviors that drive their success.

But how does our solution do this? Our team of experts craft our survey questions to identify the genuine experience others have working with a manager. These questions also draw out the manager’s unconscious behaviors that are helping or hurting their positive influence. Like all surveys, 360-degree surveys typically succeed on the strength of question design. Our 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?

Conducting 360 feedback reviews is critical to helping your managers - and their teams - do their best work. As companies begin the survey process, they create a baseline for each manager to start becoming a leader. Each manager gains a clear roadmap of the qualities and behaviors to focus on - and often correct - to improve the performance and experience of their team. As each manager goes through this development process, the company expands its leadership pool exponentially.

However, companies need to augment this surveying by intentionally listening to employees and taking action on their input. Leaders build trust when they clearly define expectations and job responsibilities and offer meaningful appreciation and recognition. A whopping 79% of people who quit their jobs over the last 15 years attributed this to a lack of appreciation.

A vital outcome of a manager effectiveness strategy is to begin an ongoing conversation with managers about their leadership potential. This 2-way dialogue continually reinforces the defined traits and skills managers need to help lead the company forward. This dialogue gains momentum as the company takes the right actions based on the survey data. Ultimately the manager effectiveness strategy generates a Continuous Conversation at Scale. This creates a virtuous cycle of feedback, development, and engagement.

How Should a Company Select their Manager Effectiveness Survey Solution?

Technology plays a huge role in the selection process. 360 feedback surveys have unique variables and intricacies that require a robust system equipped to analyze results and easily share information with the people who need it. Not all employee survey vendors can build the best 360 survey for your company. It is important to examine if they offer a flexible platform, deep domain expertise, and an outcome-driven customer success team.

Your survey 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 solution so your leaders can see how others see them. Our 360 feedback product provides the critical insights managers need to become inspiring leaders. Cultivate also integrates data from other Perceptyx listening channels. This empowers our customers to make connections between their people strategy and their business strategy. For example, they can see how their manager effectiveness impacts employee engagement and their bottom line. Integrating these different signals also demonstrates the impact that the Cultivate feedback strategy - and the HR and learning and development teams’ support - has on transforming managers into leaders.


Discover Cultivate to Increase Your Manager Effectiveness

The People Analytics Playbook

Get best practices for building the right manager effectiveness strategy for your company.

Download the People Analytics Playbook

360 Degree Surveys: The Most Important Things To Know

Discover the advantages of a well-designed 360-degree survey and the best ways to use the data they generate.

Read more about 360 degree surveys

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

Perceptyx People Insights Platform

Transform listening signals into actions that matter


Employee surveys to illuminate the employee experience

Learn more about Ask product


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

Learn more about Dialogue product


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

Learn more about Sense product


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

Learn more about Cultivate product

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