What do Great Managers Do - Part 1?

“Our research yielded many discoveries, but the most powerful was this: Talented employees need great managers.” - Gallup

Over 1 million people took part in this ground-breaking Gallup research. Managers are the catalyst for engagement and performance in an organisation. People don’t leave organisations - they leave their boss!

So, what do great managers actually do? 

In this post I’ll focus on the first key activity. To make it easy to understand I’ll present the “conventional wisdom” approach and then the distinction that great managers make. Then I’ll provide some tips/tools for how to enhance your approach. If you’re not a manager but being managed then what I reveal here will give you a yardstick for judging your managers. 

Key #1. They Select the Right People

“Often, organisations approach selecting frontline supervisors, team leads or first-time managers with less strategy than rolling dice in Las Vegas” - Rick Tate, Dr Julie White

The cost, both direct and indirect, of hiring the wrong person is very high. I’m sure you can provide lots of examples!

Putting the wrong person in the wrong job not only has consequences for you and your organisation. It also has a profound effect on the employee as they struggle to perform in a role that they’re just not suited to. They will also be a drag on team performance. It’s simply not fair to all concerned!

Conventional Wisdom says:
Hire a person based on his/her experience, intelligence and determination - gleaned from a Resume or CV - what are commonly known as Eligibility Factors.

What Great Managers do:
Hire a person based on Talent, not simply Resume or CV criteria. 

Talent can be defined as “a recurring pattern of thought, feeling or behaviour that can be productively applied.” 

In sport or music, professional talent scouts are employed to find talented individuals. They don’t do this by looking at a CV. They do this by observing many people and looking for consistent performance over time in real situations. 

Eligibility Factors are not enough to make informed hiring decisions

It’s virtually impossible to assess someone’s Talent from a CV and an interview. Yet, this is how most hiring is done. If you took away the CV most managers would struggle in the interview situation. The more intuitive managers might succeed. However, these people are rare. And, their intuition also includes many Unconscious Biases. For example, they will tend to hire people who are like them. Often they themselves would not be suitable for, or want to do, the job for which they’re hiring. Where's the logic in this? 

Research shows that using this approach, your odds of picking the right person are about 20%. 

How can you increase your odds?

Using the right tools you can increase your odds of success to over 90%! To do this, you need to screen potential employees not just for Eligibility but also for Suitability

Suitability measures how someone will manifest their Talent in a specific role. 

In most hiring situations suitability is not assessed. Where it is assessed, many of the tools used have the following limitations:

  • They’re administered too late in the hiring process to only a few individuals. Therefore, you miss out on talent that gets disqualified for not meeting arbitrary Eligibility criteria.   
  • It can take up to a day to administer a barrage of tests, which all cost time and money
  • HR Managers attempt to derive job fit from Personality Tests. The problem is that these Personality Tests are not designed to predict job fit or future performance. So, this is just like having an expensive set of dice. It’s still a gamble. 
  • Personality Tests do not measure factors specific to a given job. They are based on averages or norms. I don’t know any manager who wants average employees. 

Is there a better way? 

Yes, there is. Several years back we chose to work with the Harrison Assessment as our Talent Diagnostics tool because it: 

  • Measures 175 job-related factors
  • Uses a questionnaire that is work-focused
  • Takes less than 30 minutes to complete
  • Can detect false answers
  • Is based on Job Success Formulas that have been created by benchmarking the behavioural traits of high performers in a specific job
  • Provides reports that are job specific, numerically quantified and easy for any manager to understand
  • Has the ability to weight and integrate eligibility, critical thinking skills and job behaviour assessment scores
  • Is completely customisable to the requirements and culture of any organisation

Your next step

If you’re a manager and you want to increase your odds of hiring the best Talent then we can arrange for you to try out the Harrison Assessment

If you’re an employee, who is frustrated at the lack of proper hiring in your organisation, then you can introduce us to your HR people and we’ll do the rest. 

If you're a consultant who wants to make a real difference to people's lives then get in touch. 

Our mission at Wide Circle is to provide the best tools and programs to ensure that the right people are in the right jobs for them so they can consistently perform at their best. We believe that everyone deserves this fair chance in life. 

Next post, I’ll focus on how do you hire the best person for a role each and every time


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