2021 People Management Report

Amid “The Great Resignation,” nearly 2,000 employees across 15+ industries share what’s causing them to quit. Hint: Manager burnout is at play.

Check out some of the biggest findings:

63% of employees with a bad manager are thinking of leaving their company within the next 12 months.

We asked respondents the following question: Rate your manager on a scale of 1-5, with 1 being a “terrible” manager and 5 being a
“world-class” manager.

An encouraging 65% of respondents considered their managers “world-class” or “good.” Only 13% said their managers were
“terrible” or “not-so-great.” The remaining 22% chose “average.”

Of the employees with bad managers (“terrible” or “not-so-great”), 63% are thinking of quitting in the next year. Only 27%
of employees with good managers (“world-class” or “good”) said the same.

“I’m thinking of leaving my company within the next 12 months.”

“Being part of a fast-growing company, I cannot afford to lose our people and the institutional knowledge they hold, so I need to stay close to their needs and identify challenges before they become unsolvable problems. Customizing my management style to each one of my team members helps to get them engaged with their job and the mission we are pursuing. Showing interest in their success and challenges by exploring these topics during a stay interview increases their knowledge of being appreciated and allows me and other leaders to solve any issues before an exit is needed.”

Maribel Olvera | SVP at The Predictive Index

The No. 1 skill employees feel their manager lacks is communication.

We presented respondents with a list of common managerial skills and asked them to select three their managers lacked. They chose: “Effective communicator” (18%), “Drives team morale” (17%), and “Asks for feedback” (17%).

When we compare this year’s results with the results from our last People Management Report we see that communication has shot up four spots on the list, from number five to number one.

Have managers gotten worse at communicating over the past two years? It’s possible. More likely, though, forced remote and hybrid work has opened employees’ eyes to the need for clear communication and information sharing. Remote employees often feel “out of the loop,” and the problem only gets worse when some team members are working from the office.

Top 5 skills managers lack

36% of employees say their manager is burned out.

While 36% of respondents said “My manager seems burned out at work,” the percentage only increased when asked about their own burnout (40%) and their team members’ burnout (45%).

Percentage of employees who agree with the statement

Read all 20 findings and share them with your team, so that you can manage better and retain top talent.

Download the full 30-page report.

The lack of communication is even more pronounced among respondents with burned-out managers.

Next, we examined these most lacking skills across two groups: employees with burned-out managers, and those without.

Of the employees whose managers are not burned-out, only 12% cited “Effective communicator” as a skill their manager lacks. That percentage jumped to 25% among employees with a burned-out manager.

Good communication takes effort. It’s hard work. And when managers are running on empty, they don’t have the energy to do things like tailor their natural communication style to meet each employee’s preferences.

Employees who believe their manager lacks effective communication

Individual contributors are the least engaged.

We also asked respondents about their current level of engagement. Consistent with the 2021 Talent Optimization Report, individual contributors are least engaged (67% are “engaged”), followed by managers (73%).

“I feel engaged in my current role.”

“Many Individual contributors get energy from being around colleagues even if they don’t depend on them to complete their job. Remote work has eliminated the opportunity to engage with colleagues daily, thus creating a ‘Meaningful Interaction Bubble.’ Leaders must be proactive to ensure individual contributors get enough interaction to maintain energy and purpose in their work.”

John Eades | CEO at LearnLoft

73% of companies are currently hiring.

Most employers aren’t just looking to retain their teams amid The Great Resignation, they’re also looking to expand them. Between backfilling roles and growing teams, hiring managers and HR teams are going to be very busy (if they aren’t already). Seventy-three percent of respondents indicated their companies are currently hiring.

According to the 2021 Talent Optimization Report, 73% of companies plan to hire more than 100 people this year. And so the stakes continue to rise. If confident leadership and cohesive teams weren’t critical to the mission before, they are now.

Is your company currently hiring and/or growing?

68% of companies have or plan to have some hybrid teams
moving forward.

We asked respondents whether their company had any hybrid teams—teams composed of in-office and remote workers. 59% of respondents said their company has hybrid teams (38% have “a few” hybrid teams while 28% said “most” teams are hybrid). Additionally, 9% said “No, but we will in the future.”

Does your company have hybrid teams (a combination of in-office and remote employees)?

Choose all that apply

“Businesses fundamentally changed when COVID hit. They had to pivot quickly to not only send their employees home, but move all processes and strategies (hiring, onboarding, internal communications, marketing, selling, etc.) to an online model. With the world opening back up, there’s no reason to assume that we would (as businesses, or people) return to a world before COVID. Many businesses learned how to streamline, how to become more efficient, and how to better trust and enable their employees during COVID. It makes sense that hybrid teams will
become the new norm, for businesses who can make it work.”

Ashley Levesque | VP at Banzai

Read all 20 findings and share them with your team, so that you can manage better and retain top talent.

Download the full 30-page report.

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