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CFOZone Experts

Opinions and views from expert CFOZone members.

Mar 30

Poor manager training, cluelessness could cause employee defections

Posted by annearf in managersemployee loyaltycareer/managementbosses


Are employers especially clueless these days? Or unprepared for the demands of their jobs? A few studies indicate the answer is "yes".

First a study by Harris Interactive for CareerBuilder found that 26 percent of managers say they were unprepared to become bosses. A whopping 58 percent never received any training to help them in the transition. The survey was conducted among 2,482 US employers and 3,910 employees.

Top challenges included such problems as dealing with issues between co-workers (25 percent) and motivating team members (22 percent).

Those are pretty important areas for managers to master.

Also the survey found that 20 percent of employees described their immediate boss's performance as poor or very poor and 23 percent felt the same way about the performance of their corporate leaders.   

Then there's a study from MetLife of employee benefits trends that my colleague, Steve Taub, recently wrote about . As he reported, it found a significant decrease in the number of employees who feel very strong loyalty to their employers and that a sizeable number want to quit in the next year.

That's bad enough. But employers seem to be completely oblivious. According to the study, 51 percent believe their employees have very strong loyalty-about the same number as in 2008. Forty-seven percent of employees say they feel that way and that's down from 59 percent three years ago.

What's more while there's a clear correlation between employee satisfaction with benefits and those who don't plan to quit, employers don't understand the specific components that lead to retention. For example, 38 percent of employers say retirement benefits have a big impact on employee loyalty, while 64 percent of employees point to such benefits as being an important factor.

Perhaps managers, stressed out and over-worked, have had less time to notice what's really happening with their employees. And since many have received inadequate training in how to be a manager, they're starting from a pretty weak position.

The moral: Managers-start paying attention to your employees and asking for training in how to do the job right. It's considerably more expensive to hire new employees than to cultivate the old.

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