Effective Management

What Managers Want - Insights from our Manager Survey

Effective Management
October 2, 2023
4 min read


After years of research and development in the fields of positive psychology and organizational science, our team set out to build a comprehensive, yet simple and cost-effective Manager Platform for managers to drive world class engagement in the face of the many challenges in today’s hybrid work reality. The platform uniquely supports managers directly with expert coaching and ongoing support, along with digital access to the most effective, science-based ways to connect with and support their teams.

We now have over 40 managers that have signed-up for Drumbeat and completed our intake form. As of October, 20 of these managers will have participated in a Drumbeat program (with 100% of the participants thus far saying the coaching sessions have been useful).  

We’re excited to share some anonymized data from the intake survey, not to add to the amazing body of existing research on manager needs, but to further normalize the importance of supporting managers. 

The need for Management Development and Training

There is no doubt that leaders desire more training, a Grovo report found that 98% of managers believe managers would benefit from training on subjects like "professional development, conflict resolution, employee turnover, time management and project management."

We acknowledge that any of the managers filling out our intake survey for manager coaching and training programs will inherently skew high on desire to develop their manager skills, but we still saw similar results:

  •  On a scale of 1-10, the average manager rated their interest in developing their manager skills as 9.48.
  • 79% of managers rated their interest to develop as a 10!

From the Grovo report to our own intake survey, it is clear that the desire to learn and improve is ever-present in managers. It is also evident how important offering development and training programs to your managers is to them feeling fulfilled and that they are growing in their career. 

Other findings from the Grovo report include 87% of middle managers declaring they wished they had received more management training when they first became a manager. First-time managers are in an exciting phase of their career and aspire to lead effective and prosperous teams. To see newly appointed managers thrive, organizations should consider offering a development or training program that will give them the tools to lead their team to success. 

We asked managers why they were interested in developing as a people leader and Each and every answer is inspiring. Below are just a few examples of many. 

“The most important thing a company can invest in is its people! I look forward to growing skills that can keep teammates engaged and happy to unlock creative ideas and drive.”
“To cultivate a work environment that people love, to save my own time, and to help everyone around me be happier.”
“I’ve benefited from great managers in the past and would love to have the opportunity to be a strong manager for someone else.”

Manager Coaching and Development Outcomes

We asked each manager “How important would positive improvement in each of the following areas be for you and your team?” on a scale of 0 (not at all) to 5 (extremely). 

Managers scored the following options: 

  • Employee productivity
  • Team connection
  • Employee burnout
  • Key leadership skills
  • Employee morale
  • Team psychological safety
  • Employee growth opportunities

The top three ranked areas of improvement: 

  • Employee burnout (4.31/5)
  • Employee morale (4.26/5)
  • Key leadership skills (4.26/5)

We’re not surprised to see burnout and morale as the top two areas. These are two topics that are at the forefront of workplace well-being and motivation in 2023.

All of the options were ranked high on the scale from 0 - 5, even the lowest voted improvement area, “employee productivity,” had a high rating of 4.12/5 (with 38% of managers giving it a 5/5). This indicates that managers are actively considering how important these areas are for their team and as leaders. 

When we asked managers how much management training they had previously received, 60% said little to none. Unfortunately, even the ones who have received training are unlikely to act on their learnings in the long-term. 80% of managers who undergo training and change their behavior only maintain those changes for 6 months or less before returning to their old ways. 

When we asked managers who had received previous management training how effective it was on a scale from 1-10, not a single manager said 5 or higher

Many existing training and development programs that organizations use with their leaders do not offer the actionable steps, ability to learn over time, personalized coaching or tools that are required to effectively address employee burnout, morale or even sustainable growth in key leadership skills. We have already identified a need and desire for management training, but it is clear that organizations need to ensure that they are providing the right development training opportunities that will encourage real leadership success.

At Drumbeat, we see the person first and offer personalized coaching to ensure the program is the most valuable for each manager. We provide actionable steps and easy-to-use tools that shape how managers can address emerging obstacles such as burnout, low morale or difficult feedback. 100% of our program participants have walked away saying that our coaching sessions were useful, while 90% said they took actions to become a better leader.

Closing Thoughts

We believe that we’re in the final years of high performing employees getting promoted to people leader roles and not receiving the training and ongoing coaching support they need to be successful. 

We are at the beginning stages of a paradigm shift.  Across every industry, organizations need to adopt new mindsets, tools, and processes - Drumbeat has been and will continue to be at the forefront of that change.

If you’d like to learn more, click here to sign up for a free demo.

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