Heather Richtfort

Good point. The way one of my private sector employers worked through this issue was to implement on-line “skip-level” surveys. Director could initiate the survey for Manager A’s employees. (In my department, they were required twice annually, and were a required input for our performance reivew). The survey asked a host of specific questions that would help (Director) gauge their direct reports’ management skills (leadership skills, communication skills, timeliness of feedback, delegation skills, follow-up, equity in dealing with performance issues, etc). This company had (luckily) understood from their annual employee surveys that the strongest correlating factor with employee motivation / productivity / willingness to stay with the firm was “manager quality” — i.e., how good was their manager at BEING a manager. It all comes back to training, and yes, accountability for being a good manager.