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Employees Want Help Developing In Their Roles; Few Managers Show Strong Interest

Perhaps it is a sign of the times but many employees feel their managers are not interested in helping them develop in their roles/

Fewer than one-fourth of employees reported that they felt managers were interested in the professional development of their staff, according to a new survey by career transition and talent development consulting firm Lee Hecht Harrison. 

More than half reported that their managers rarely or never take an interest in helping them develop in their roles.

Lee Hecht Harrison surveyed more than 450 individuals throughout the U.S. via an online poll that was conducted in May 2012 and asked “Do you feel your manager is interested in your professional development?” The results were as follows:

Do you feel your manager is interested in your professional development?









Kristen Leverone, Senior Vice President, Global Talent Development Practice Leader for Lee Hecht Harrison, stated, "These results aren’t surprising.  In engagement surveys employees are explicitly asking for more coaching and regular performance feedback from their managers. Employees want to know what they are doing well and where they can improve. 

Without this kind of feedback, employees are left guessing about the value and impact of their contributions.”

According to Leverone, regular career conversations are critical to engagement, retention and business performance.  However, with managers stretched with more direct reports and higher goals to meet, they often lack the bandwidth and skill to be an effective coach. 

“Unfortunately, with so many competing pressures, career conversations are getting little attention, leaving employees to sink or swim in their careers, she said.

“ We advise leaders to look for opportunities to integrate career conversations into other business meetings and discussions and talk with employees about the work they are doing, the challenges they are facing, and the support they need to be successful,” she added.

Leverone added, “If you are not actively engaging and supporting the people who work for you, you’re probably not getting their best work.  Managers need to see this as a priority and invest the time to check in regularly with their employees.  And quick check-ins are just as important as full career coaching discussions because it signals to the employee that leaders are interested in and value them.”


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