3 Manager Metrics That Can Significantly Impact Engagement

The performance of managers and their teams is measured all the time.

Companies look for revenue growth, cost reductions, productivity, output, customer satisfaction… There really are so many data points that are measured. However, there are other equally important metrics that go unmeasured in almost all organizations. And these data points could uncover solutions to retention issues and the lack of employee engagement in workplaces.

Executives spend a great deal of their time developing strategies to increase revenue and decrease costs. They have set aside funds to cover costs associated with people quitting the organization. Unfortunately, most don’t consider moving some of that budget over to activities designed to keep people from quitting. Engagement metrics are measured (and, sadly, seldom acted upon), but the real things that influence employee engagement and retention are challenging to quantify and, therefore, not considered in strategy. However, if we could just find a way to measure them, the impact could be substantial. Since most of the variance in employee engagement rests on the shoulders of the managers, this is where it makes sense to focus measurement.

Here are some manager analytics I’d like to see:

  • Number of weekly one on one conversations.

Employees everywhere are seeking a relationship with their bosses. This is something that is simple to implement and costs nothing, yet it’s also something that’s dropped to the bottom of managers’ to-do lists whenever things get busy.

Notice, I said this is something very simple to put in place, but it’s not necessarily easy. Managers often tell me they’re in a real time squeeze and have so many other deliverables that conversations with their team members just have to be put aside. If, however, they were being measured on it, managers would certainly find the time to hold these conversations. From the leadership side, this mandate means there is a stated commitment to having one on one conversations organization wide. So not only will managers make the time, but they will also be encouraged to find the time if their success in the organization will depend on it.

According to Gallup, only 13% of employees feel their organization communicates effectively with them. Having regular, consistent, and frequent one on one conversations is the best way to ensure communication flow between manager and team.


  • Number of people in training.

One of the biggest motivational factors for employees is learning and professional development. By providing company-sanctioned training, employees will have access to the information they need to excel in their jobs. People love to do good work, and they love to be recognized for it. So, providing the training they need is a sure way to make them feel good and be more productive in the process.

Employees like to feel they are growing and improving professionally. Incentives like company subsidized learning opportunities are a huge plus for workers. They’re also huge for the employer, as they will have happy employees who are learning and, presumably, applying what they’ve learned to the job, and readying themselves for future roles.

The manager is the go-to person for discussions about training. They know best what their team needs and what their reports need to bring them up to speed or help them to advance. Having proper training, delivered by the right people for the job, will provide the knowledge. Ongoing coaching will ensure application on the job and associated surges in productivity.