For People Leaders


How Do I Gauge Manager Effectiveness? Seven Things to Look At.

How do you gauge the effectiveness of a manager? Especially since no two managers are exactly alike? We’re sharing 7 things to look at when gauging any manager’s effectiveness.


Managers are key to any organization—both for the day-to-day operations and for overall company success. In fact, Gallup found that companies with highly effective managers experience 48% higher profits than those with average managers.

With the numerous roles and responsibilities that fall under the management umbrella, managers can propel their teams and company forward, or they can literally sink the entire organization. And since no two managers bring the same qualities, strengths, knowledge, talents, and experiences to the table, gauging a manager’s effectiveness can be tricky, at best. 

When gauging a manager’s effectiveness, some of the outcomes are easily quantifiable data-wise, while others are not. But there are seven things leaders can look at to gauge any manager’s effectiveness in their organization, and some of these things overlap, giving a more complete picture of a manager's effectiveness overall.

Seven Things to Look at to Gauge Manager Effectiveness

1. Team feedback—both negative and positive

Feedback is key to understanding what’s truly going on in any team and organization, and to be most effective, feedback must be requested consistently in a precise manner (specific questions, etc.) with zero risk of repercussions for honest—even negative—feedback. In order to continue to receive honest feedback, it should be apparent that all feedback is valued and that steps are being taken to address anything offered during a feedback session, even if no changes are made based on the feedback that’s been received.

For more tips for obtaining honest and helpful feedback, go here.

2. Overall team performance 

Overall team performance can definitely reflect the effectiveness of a manager, and here are some team-related things to look at when evaluating a manger: 

  • Meet deadlines for projects
  • Achieve goals (financial, production, etc.) for the company, for the team, and in their individual roles and responsibilities 
  • Collaborate and work well as a team, for the good of the team
  • Produce high quality work 
  • Take advantage of opportunities for growth within their roles and for future roles
  • Achieve high customer satisfaction rates

3. Promotions and other successes

Top-notch managers continually prepare their team members to not only move into new roles, but they also make it the norm to provide opportunities for employees to develop new skills related to their ultimate career goals. And this is the case even if that means valued employees will eventually leave their teams. So, one way to gauge a manager’s effectiveness is to look at how many and how often team members are promoted or moved into new roles where they can continue to excel both personally and for the company.

Learn more about the type of manager who excels at providing these types of opportunities—the Connector Manager—here.

4. Turnover rates

It’s expensive in both dollars and time spent to train new employees, so a manager’s turnover rate is important to keep an eye on when gauging effectiveness. After all...

“People don’t leave bad companies, they leave bad managers.” ~ Marcus Buckingham

In fact, Gallup found that 50% of employees leave their companies because of their boss, begging the answer to the question: “How can managers retain quality employees?” Here's how: 

  • Show appreciation to their team members. One study found that 79% of employees quit their jobs due to a lack of appreciation. High quality team members will work hard, so be sure and let them know—often—how appreciated they are.
  • Make sure employees are well-trained with frequent follow-up and continuing education opportunities to ensure long-term success in their roles and with the company.
  • Create a strong team culture (more about this in #7 below).
  • Align pay with skills and dedication. Employees want to feel like they are being fairly compensated for their time, skills, and efforts, and if they feel like they are underpaid, they will be looking for the first opportunity to move to a better compensated position.

5. Absenteeism rates

An effective manager will have lower absenteeism rates among their team. Absenteeism rates include days missed over and above PTO/vacation time, personal leave, and sick days. Absent team members provide zero work, obviously, putting additional strain on other team members and the manager, negatively affecting team member and team morale. Absent employees also contribute to a decrease in productivity and quality, which can often lead to decreased customer satisfaction as well.

While overall job dissatisfaction is a viable reason for excessive employee absenteeism, feeling overwhelmed and burned out can also be strong contenders. Researchers found that 75% of companies struggle where overwhelmed employees are concerned, and Gallup found that employees feeling burned-out are 63% more likely to take a day off from work. It’s clear that focusing on preventing employee overwhelm and burn out are two keys to decreasing absenteeism rates.

6. Recruitment rates

The rate at which managers successfully recruit top-level employees is crucial for organization and team success because the higher quality the employee, the greater the success of the organization overall. Sought after employees can be put-off due to a manager’s interviewing style, causing them to look elsewhere for employment. Therefore, post-interview surveys and feedback—whether employees are hired or not, or whether offers are accepted or rejected—is an important way to gauge a manager’s effectiveness in this aspect of their role in the organization.

7. Team Culture

We’ve saved the best for last as a way to gauge an effective manager. An effective manager promotes a strong, team-focused culture. While this aspect of an effective manager isn’t always exactly measurable, success in this area is measurable in the other ways we’ve shared to gauge manager effectiveness.

Just how important is a strong team culture? In one study, 72% of workers stated that company culture was a factor in which company they chose to work for, and another study found that among employees who left a job within the first 90 days, 32% stated that company culture was the reason for leaving. Company culture is important. 

What makes up a strong team culture? Here are some aspects to consider:

  • Engagement. Team members are involved, enthusiastic, and dedicated to their roles within the team. Studies show that disengaged employees had 37% higher absenteeism, 49% more accidents, and 60% more product errors and defects. 
  • Communication. Communication is frequent, honest, and open. Everyone has a say, every opinion is valued, and listening is valued over responses.
  • Trust. If team members don’t trust each other, engagement will suffer. Plain and simple.
  • Expectations. Expectations for the entire team, from managers and other team members, must be clear, realistic, and public.
  • Support. Support between team members, no matter their roles and responsibilities, is strong and consistent.
  • Purpose. Everyone is on the same page as far as expectations and goals.
  • Recognition. Recognition is both personal and professional, team and individual, and frequent and public—even for the smallest wins.

Gauging a manager’s effectiveness can feel like a daunting process, especially since no two managers are alike, but it can be accomplished successfully when certain aspects of their roles and responsibilities—like those we’ve highlighted—are used in the evaluation process. After all, managers hold crucial roles in the success of the organization, their team, and their team members, making it a priority for leaders to ensure that highly effective managers continue to produce high-quality results, and that all managers are offered the additional training and support they need to attain—and maintain—the title of “Best Manager Ever."

Our goal at Campfire is to build successful managers. Sign up for a FREE Campfire session to see for yourself how Campfire can serve you or the managers at your organization.

Thank you! Click the button below to start your download.
download now
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Read next