How Can Organisations Reveal a Manager’s Blindspot?

June 6, 2024 thehrobserver-hrobserver-managers

Organisations that want to reveal their managers’ blind spots must begin by closing the perception gap between managers and their teams, according to a recent Gallup study. This can be achieved by receiving precise feedback through coaching, effectiveness surveys, 360-degree feedback, or open two-way dialogue with their teams.

Organisations must also address managers’ most common weaknesses and blind spots by intentionally developing managers into coaches, moving beyond the basics, and teaching them how to effectively coach performance and development through a strengths-based lens.

“This study serves as a call to action: Managers need the development, feedback, and support required to manage people effectively and foster highly productive teams. The engagement, performance, and retention of their workforce depend on it,” wrote Gallup.

According to the study, Gallup concluded that managers “excel” at the basics. However, out of the top five most important manager behaviors that drive employee engagement, four are known weaknesses and one is a blind spot. The strongest driver of employee engagement and the lowest-rated behavior is weekly meaningful feedback, which remains an important opportunity for managers to develop.

Overconfident managers

The study found that the biggest gaps between manager and employee perceptions are in the delivery of recognition and frequent feedback. Nearly 60% of managers feel they are doing a good job recognizing their team’s hard work and contributions, but only 35% of individual contributors share the same sentiment. Recognition isn’t happening as often as managers think, or it’s not being delivered memorably for employees.

The largest difference between manager and employee perceptions is in how often they think feedback is provided. About 20% of employees say they receive feedback weekly, compared with about 50% of managers who say they deliver it weekly.

Another blind spot is that managers are more likely to believe that their managerial style fosters a collaborative team environment—a sentiment not shared by the people they manage. “Managers may see collaboration happening or facilitate it themselves, but that may not translate into true peer-to-peer collaboration that employees can see or feel,” Gallup wrote.

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The HR Observer

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