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July 9, 2024

New flagship report from Mind Tools: Building Better Managers

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In 2024, managers are expected to behave more like leaders than they have done in the past. Good managers are effective at setting expectations, motivating their teams and developing people. Great managers fulfil these responsibilities with emotional intelligence.

Today, Mind Tools has published its 2024 Building Better Managers report. In the report, we have introduced a new framework for measuring manager skills, developed in line with the research evidence showing relationships between manager capabilities and people outcomes, manager outcomes and business outcomes.

In partnership with YouGov, we asked more than 2,000 managers about their skills, priorities, challenges, and approaches to learning. Two-thirds of managers told us that they would “look for another job” if their organization failed to support their professional development – but many organizations are struggling to identify meaningful and relevant learning opportunities. The findings of our research have unearthed opportunities for organizations to develop and support their management populations better, and to build managers who have a greater impact on the business and its people.

The report explores:

  • What it takes to be a good manager in a modern business context
  • The extent to which managers predict organizational success
  • How organizations can support managers to get the best out of them.

Author, Dr Anna Barnett, says:

“The way we think about managers matters. It matters if we believe managers can help our organizations achieve great things, and it matters if we don’t. In this report, we show what can happen to manager capabilities when their development is not prioritized, especially at the beginning of a manager’s career.

Unsupported managers are 14% less effective at coaching and identifying opportunities for their people to develop and 16% less effective at setting goals. We also show how these capabilities – as just three examples – can impact the business by affecting employee engagement, proactivity and commitment.

According to McKinsey, ‘learning to love middle managers’ is a top priority for CEOs in 2024. And we’re pleased to hear it. For too long, organizations have viewed managers as the veins within their businesses rather than the heart. By doing so, they’ve missed opportunities to make bad managers good – and good managers better.”

Chief Impact Officer, Nahdia Khan, says:

"This report is a seminal piece of work for Mind Tools, combining our expertise in supporting managers and leaders for over 25 years and our legacy of market-leading thought leadership and research.

This report surfaces the challenges faced by managers who are navigating complex and volatile environments equipping organizations with the insights and tools needed to build better managers."

Download your free copy of the full research report here: Building Better Managers.

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