Performance Evaluation: When to Retain and Train Managers

Nov 14, 2017

Retain Managers

When evaluating the performance of managers in your company, the goal should be to retain managers and then provide training to address their blind spots. However, there are cases when a manager is not an ideal fit for your company.

The process to evaluate whether a manager is the right fit begins with assessing the emotional intelligence qualities that make up the top-performing managers in your company.

Take Action on Assessment Results

Through our study of managers across industries, ZERORISK HR has identified the following core competencies that make up the ideal manager:

  • Self-awareness
  • Empathy
  • Courage
  • Communication of expectations
  • Personal accountability

Once you establish benchmarks for the ideal managerial persona in your company, your manager should complete an individual assessment to evaluate whether their competencies match the benchmarks.

If the manager does not match up with the emotional intelligence qualities for their position, you need to take action in one of three ways.

1. When Should You Retain and Train Managers?

First, you need to sit down with the manager to have a critical conversation about their blind spots and the appropriate steps that should be taken.

Through this conversation, you should determine whether the manager is aware they need to improve in a specific area and is willing to address the blind spot identified in the assessment.

You also need to determine if it is realistic that the manager can make a leap through a training program addressing their blind spot.

This is where the assessment will help you determine whether a manager development program targeting the blind spot will make a significant difference improving the manager's capabilities and performance.

If the manager acknowledges their blind spot, is willing to change, and if you believe the program will address the blind spot, then you should retain and train the manager to continue growing in their role.

2. When Should You Reassign Managers?

There are two potential cases where you should reassign the manager to a different role in your company:

  • Your manager does not see an issue with his or her behavior, but is willing to put forth the effort to improve. The manager needs to show willingness to acknowledge their blind spots identified on the assessment. Otherwise, they will not be open to receiving training that will correct the behavior.
  • The blind spot gap is too great in the manager's current role and it's simply not realistic for the manager to be able to make that leap.

However, if the manager is willing to put forth the effort to grow as a manager, then you should match the manager's core competencies to the ideal personas of other managerial roles in your company. Then, you should consider reassigning the manager to a different team as part of a lateral move within your organization.

Alternatively, some companies try to move managers to a non-managerial role to see if they fit better within the organization.

The process of having a manager take a step back is very challenging because stripping a manager of their leadership authority will often disrupt team chemistry, creating a downturn in productivity. This requires a second critical conversation to evaluate whether the manager is receptive to the move and will be productive for your company.

3. When Should You Release a Manager?

You assessed the manager's core competencies, identified blind spots, and sat down with the manager for a critical conversation to discuss the path to change. Unfortunately, in this case:

  • The manager would not acknowledge their blind spot.
  • The manager is unwilling to change.
  • There is no realistic path to change that training can address.
  • There is no chance of moving to a different role in the company.

The answer is clear that you should release the manager to the market.

However, many companies are unwilling to do this. The reasonings include:

  • The manager is responsible for a significant number of tasks on their team.
  • The direct reports are not trained to take the manager's responsibilities.
  • There will be a downturn in productivity or revenue if the manager is released.
  • You are concerned the manager could take your intellectual property to a competitor.
  • You do not want to experience the headache of releasing the manager.
  • You do not have time to find, hire, and train a new manager.

An additional line of thinking is hoping that the critical conversation will eventually affect the manager's behavior; that perhaps it was a wake-up call that will sink in and lead to change.

Unfortunately, that is an unreliable approach. The assessment identified a blind spot that needs to be addressed through training in order for the manager to continue performing at a level that benefits the company.

Otherwise, allowing the manager to continue sitting in their position showing no willingness to change will ultimately turn into a worse situation for their team and your overall company.

Case Study: How Training Had a Dramatic Effect on Business

ZERORISK HR studied a hospital that was at a critical stage of deciding whether to retain and train managers, specifically nurse managers.

After the hospital assessed the emotional intelligence of their nurse managers, they determined which managers to retain and then place in a training program to improve performance.

The result was a 50 percent reduction in unwanted turnover.

The training program also led to improved patient satisfaction scores. This was vital to the hospital because they receive funding based on the scores. The benefits of implementing the training went beyond reducing turnover and the cost of hiring to have a considerable impact on the hospital's revenue.

Your Turn to Decide Whether to Retain and Train

For your company, when you need to make critical decisions about whether to retain and train managers, consider the ZERORISK Clear Direction Team and Development Training Program.

Our dynamic programs will help you align your current managers with the emotional intelligence of the ideal persona and facilitate critical conversations with your team. This will ensure that your managers are best aligned to increase productivity of their teams and reduce the risk of turnover in your company.

ZERORISK helps organizations build great cultures by identifying, developing, and retaining top talent. The ZERORISK Hiring System blends a revolutionary behavioral science with state-of-the-art technology to reduce unwanted turnover and improve employee performance. For more information contact us at (800) 827-5991.

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