The Manager – An Underleveraged Opportunity to Have Meaningful Impact on EX

Relative Influence On Human Experience of Work

These days, we at TI People are asked to help set employee experience priorities: The world is asking for a better human experience of work – and at the same time, the reality for many organizations is that SG&A spend has been cut by 15% on average. Delivering more (EX) for less (budget) requires a sharper edge when selecting 2021 priorities.

In this piece we’d like to focus on the role that line managers play in the employee experience. Even McKinsey – the advocates of ‘flatter, faster, leaner’ – starts to reconsider the role of middle managers. Let’s see what we can bring to the table:

At TI People, we are focused on capturing, analyzing and using data to better understand the quality of interactions that people have with the company as they work. Based on more than 800,000 data sets in our EXI database, we know that across all moments and talent segments, interactions with the manager are most impactful on the overall human experience of work. That is far ahead of interactions with touchpoints such as internal apps, shared services and others.

We also know that the experiences employees have with their manager highly correlates with the experience of managers as they perform their job (r=.495). This data indicates that ensuring a high-quality experience for Managers will result in Managers delivering a good experience to their team.

In the real world, our data shows that less than 25% of managers positively rate their experience with for example, IT and HR support.

Data showing bad experiences of managers
Bad experiences of managers (from topic modeling and free sentiment analysis of 60,000 free text comments)

Each one of these ‘could be better’ interactions is yet another obstacle getting in the way of line managers trying to reach a great outcome for and with the team they manage. Visualizing, acknowledging, and removing this friction is an opportunity to accelerate the business.

Moreover, since a typical span of control for managers ranges on average from 1:6 to 1:10, the “manager multiplier effect” amplifies managers’ bad or good experiences by the same factor to impact the experience of their team members.

When pressed to do ‘more with less’, EX leaders should consider this multiplier effect as a game changing input when setting their 2021 priorities.

These and more insights are available as part of the EXI© – Experience Intelligence solutions.

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