What are likely to be key management trends in 2017? TINYpulse, an employee engagement firm, recently reviewed thousands of survey responses from employees, and came up with a number of predictions for the coming year. In addition to several not-unexpected ones involving increased flexibility and telecommuting arrangements (accurate no doubt), following are the three that most resonated with me.
Feedback, feedback, feedback. Feedback has always mattered – and now there are fewer excuses not to give it. “Our research has shown that continuous feedback plays a critical role in defining an employee’s work experience,” the TINYpulse report noted – with data showing a correlation between ample feedback and employees feeling more valued and better disposed toward management. In another survey I recently wrote about, 65% of employees felt they weren’t getting enough feedback, a statistic entirely consistent with my own management experience. Feedback has always mattered – a lot – and millennial employees expect feedback even more than prior generations. And it’s become easier to provide. One thing I’ve noted in the four years since I’ve left the corporate world is the profusion of products, apps, devices, etc., designed to help managers with feedback. Though I’m not in the business of reviewing specific products, I will say that anything that moves the feedback needle in the right direction (i.e.toward giving more of it) is a positive thing.
Watch on Forbes:
(Your browser doesn’t support iframe)(Your browser does not support iframe)
Middle managers will gain more of the attention they deserve. The report discusses the power of the middle manager, citing research showing that 53% of employees want their own direct manager involved in employee engagement activities. Indeed. Not to be flip, but middle managers are sort of the draft horses of the management world: sorely overworked and chronically underappreciated. Yet unquestionably valuable to the success of their enterprises. As one of my all-time favorite management sayings goes, “People leave managers, not companies.” The more organizations appreciate this simple fact, and support middle managers with the skills and resources they need, the better off those organizations will be.
The demand for leadership development will increase. The report cites a combination of stats showing significant gaps in this area: 56% of executives report their companies “are not ready to meet leadership needs” – while only 7% report organizations “have accelerated their programs for millennials.” Again, this fits with my own long-held perception that employee development is both highly valued and highly neglected. The report concludes, “Organizations need to start filling their leadership pipeline by identifying which millennials have the potential to fill in those management positions in order to avoid any shaky transitions as baby boomers hand off the baton to millennials in this leadership relay.”
Successful management is a long race requiring plenty of endurance.
In 2017, focusing on areas such as improving feedback plus increasing development for middle managers and leaders are long-term tactics that will boost the people-management capabilities of companies that choose to make the investments.
* * *
This article was written by Victor Lipman from Forbes and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.