Right Management — a subdivision of Manpower Group — did a survey about career development and managers’ roles within it. Here are the results. Here’s probably the section you should pop a couple of Ambien before you read:
According to the poll, only 17 percent of employees report their managers are actively engaged in their career development, while 15 percent say their managers are sometimes engaged. Sixty-eight percent of managers are not engaged in their employee’s career development.
Read that last sentence, and then go massage your scalp with a 45-caliber. What the ever-loving fuck? 7 in 10 managers aren’t engaged in the career development of their employees? What? (** Gasps for air **) Wait, this can’t be right. (** Punches self in face **) Jesus Christ.
Let’s briefly summarize the working world we live in, via statistics:
- 82 percent of managers end up being the wrong hire.
- 95 percent of managers are thought to not really understand motivation.
- 34 percent of managers are able to ID the strengths of their employees.
Alright, so … most managers aren’t very good at their jobs, they don’t know what motivates people, and about 1 in 3 can identify what is good about the people that work for them.
Look, I realize that products mean more than people at most organizations and I realize that might not ever really change. (You’d hope “The Millennial Generation” will change it, but in reality they might end up exactly like the Boomers.) I get it: your products make you money when consumers buy them. You worry about consumers and how they feel. But your employees are just there — the contract is tied to money, right? — and so it’s perfectly fine to kind of just let them be, and assess them once a year, and all that kind of basic stuff. That’s how we do, right?
Even if you believe that — and if you believe that, you’re probably not reading this anymore because you’re so super busy (so busy that you don’t have the time to respect your employees) — you need to understand one thing: “leadership” and “management” aren’t about hitting deliverables.
That’s part of it, yes, but the big picture is about coaching.
This is all part of the reason we deify coaches and generals in society (and pretend to deify teachers in long-form essays, even though we pay them about 1/8th of what finance sector interns make): because the idea of developing another person is paramount in our lives.
Don’t believe me? Go fuck yourself.
But seriously, here’s a thought exercise: stop and think for a second about this question.
What’s the strongest brand in the world?
If you said “Apple,” you’re wrong.
Because it’s the most aligned with developing the future, which is an inherent interest of society. It’s most aligned with instilling values and right from wrong, etc.
“Managers” at work should be doing the same thing, and should be taught that it’s part of their job to do so. Way less than 68 percent should be actively avoiding it. In fact, 68 percent should be actively involved.
“Management” and “leadership,” even though we always think about them incorrectly, are really about coaching. Believe that.
But I’m sure as you do, you have a High-Level Deliverables Meeting (“Stand-Up”) to run to.
68 percent. Jesus H. Christ.