This document is part of the A Dictionary of People Metrics resource.

Application

This measure is broadly applicable across all organisations, but will be most useful for organisations that perform periodic employee surveys or plan to perform such surveys.

Description

A relative measure of employees’ perception of manager quality.

Formula

Survey results.

Interpretation

Manager quality is often measured using survey results. Each survey will likely have a different set of questions or methodologies for measuring manager quality. Organisations may choose to measure manager quality using performance management tools or a combination of performance and survey data.

The Manager Quality Index measures aggregate employee satisfaction with direct managers. The index is based on employee satisfaction with managers, including factors such as knowledge, skill and personality.

Although it provides an aggregate measure of manager quality, the index can also be disaggregated to dimensions (i.e. those specific factors used in the survey to measure satisfaction) along which managers are particularly strong or weak.

Manager quality has a strong influence on an organisation’s offer fit with employees’ preferences. This offer fit equates to the degree of alignment between the employer’s value proposition (in terms of compensation and benefits, work-life balance, work environment, etc.) and the specific preferences of employees.

This level of offer fit impacts employees’ commitment to the organisation, engagement on the job and likelihood of staying with or leaving the organisation.

Data Sourcing

Organisations typically source data for this measure from the responses to one or more questions from employee surveys. If some or all data used for this measure are sourced from performance management data, organisations typically store such data within performance management tables or systems. Some organisations might need to manually retrieve data from 360-degree tools or other tools that are not electronically stored.

Analysis

This measure should be measured in aggregate, as well as by the individual managerial characteristics assessed by the survey questions. It can also be analysed by various manager characteristics, such as pay grade or seniority, to determine how manager quality may differ by hierarchical level. This analysis can be instrumental in an assessment of managerial bench strength.

Lastly, the measure can be analysed by employee characteristics to determine how employee satisfaction with managers differs among various populations. Such dimensions could include tenure, age, employment level, gender, ethnic background, occupation, job family and job function.

Limitations

As with all survey related metrics, the value provided by this measure depends heavily on the effectiveness of survey design and delivery in accurately reporting employees’ opinions. Additionally, all survey measures represent employees’ perceptions at a point in time and can reflect temporal events (e.g. the receipt of pointed developmental feedback).

Manager quality is but one aspect of the employees’ relationship with and opinions about the organisation. Commitment, engagement, likelihood of retention, perceived market opportunity and overall offer fit are also important dimensions not offered by this measure.

Targets

Targets for this measure will depend on the scale used for the index or survey question responses. Targets based on benchmark groups will only apply if other organisations use sufficiently comparable survey questions and survey methodology.

Organisations would aim for as high a level of manager quality as is reasonably achievable given the organisational context.