Improved self-awareness needed for performance management

Managers’ view of own performance reveals gap in self-awareness

A recent survey from Penna revealed that managers rate their own performance far higher than their team members do.

In fact, over 50% of those employees questioned believed that they could in fact achieve more impressive results if given the opportunity.

With a seemingly high 80% of managers stating that they are more often than not “good at supporting their direct reports with opportunities for promotion”, it is perhaps alarming that 39% of their colleagues failed to agree with such sentiments.

In a continuation of such findings, nine out of ten managers questioned strongly believed that they offered opportunities and additional support to their staff. However, the fact that 29% of workers felt that this was in fact incorrect, only further highlights the apparent disparity between managers and their teams.

Another observation from the findings surrounded the difference in perception when it comes to the accessibility of managers, with just 23% of staff members believing that their manager was available when needed.

In addition to this, a lowly 25% of workers thought their managers acted in a supportive manner. However interestingly, a significantly larger proportion of managers believed this to be true.

In a separate area of the study, it was found that the majority of managers are failing in their duty to provide a strong role model for staff members when it comes to certain aspects of their job.

Findings signalled that 54% of all employees who had previously neglected to mention it, would not want to be a manager within their place of work, and in addition, 23% made it clear that if they were in such a role, they would fail to give 100% of their effort.

It is not all doom and gloom for managers however, with Penna actually revealing some positive news from their findings. In what may come as a surprise to some, 64% of employees said that they were fond of their manager, and 66% had respect for them.

The percentage of employees who stated that they have a good working relationship with their boss was a lofty 77%.

Managing Director of Penna’s talent practice, Penny De Valk, has recently stated that “Managers score highly on being liked and respected. While important, it should not come at the cost of clarity of direction and vision sharing – which their direct reports say is lacking.”

In addition, she also believes strongly that if employers wish to improve their performance management to maintain a competitive advantage, then they must address apparent “tensions between perceived and actual managerial performance and impact”.

“Managers have a tough gig and their roles have increased in pace and intensity due to the ongoing economic turmoil.

They think they are doing a great job – one that even their direct reports don’t want to do – but their employees beg to differ and organisations aren’t investing in their development to address this critical perception gap,” she continued.

By addressing such performance management issues, tackling the apparent lack of management skills within the UK will surely become significantly easier.

Research carried out by the CMI as part of their ‘Management 2020’ report, determined that there will be a demand for as many as one million new managers within the UK over the next few years as a result of retirement expectancies.

How self-aware are your managers? 

And how does your organisation ensure managers receive objective, competency-based feedback from not only their manager but also their peers and direct reports?

Share your experiences with us in the comments box below.

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