John Bernatovicz

Congratulate and Reward… Don’t Promote

Employee engagement is key to productivity and success. We know this. The problem is that often this engagement is largely dependent on direct managers. According to Gallup, lack of employee engagement can be significantly (70%) traced back to managers.

Gallup has rather famously been at the forefront of studying what makes an employee or manager exceptional… or well below acceptable. This includes more than 40 years of research in nearly 200 countries among 27 million employees. One key finding shows that employee “engagement” has held steady (and flat) at only 30% over the past twelve years.

Tenured, talented, achieving employees are expected to rise through the ranks. They want growth and opportunities and organizations want to keep their talent.

A mind-numbing 82% of the time organizations fail to choose managers with the talent to be a manager according to Gallup. How could this be? It is so simple it is painful… but it is also a vicious cycle to break away from.

The problem is… and don’t miss this… Gallup estimates that only 10% have the skills and talents to be a great manager.

You may be asking yourself one of two things, or both:

  • Do I have the skills and talents to hold my position?
  • Do the people I am promoting to manager have the skills and talents?

What does make a good manager? Here is what Gallup says are the talents needed to be a great manager.

  1. The ability to motivate and inspire their team;
  2. Assertiveness and the will to lead and overcome obstacles;
  3. The skills to create an accountability culture;
  4. An adeptness at build trust; and
  5. A talent for making objective decisions.

If a potential manager does not possess all five of these it does not mean that he or she will fail, but you may want to provide training or look into talents assessments before you make the hire (we’d love to help).

Also, think of creative ways to reward employees with recognition, bonuses, raises, etc. in lieu of a promotion to retain your star employees that aren’t cut out to be managers. We can help with that too!


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