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    Dr. Natalie Baumgartner: The Foundations of Manager Effectiveness (Ep #207)
    Dr. Natalie Baumgartner: The Foundations of Manager Effectiveness

    Dr. Natalie Baumgartner is Chief Research Officer and Partner at Contemporary Leadership Advisors (CLA) and Chief Workforce Scientist at Achievers.  She has spent over a decade focused on driving the translation of culture research and theory into SaaS based software, working to help make it possible for organizations to solve problems and achieve goals that advance their performance. In this conversation, Dr. Baumgarnter brings home her passion for connection within organizations with the four pillars of manager effectiveness. 


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    Show Notes

    • “It was very eye opening in terms of where managers are thriving and where they’re struggling, and how employees are feeling about all of the above.”  [9:52] Dr. Natalie Baumgartner is talking about the Achievers Report on The Foundations of Manager Effectiveness. Using a variety of factors of effectiveness, the report found that only 28% of employees would actually recommend their managers to others.

    • “Managers aren’t getting the training, the support, the scaffolding that they need to deliver these really critical factors that employees need to receive.”  [13:01] It’s no surprise managers are not reaching their employees effectively; Dr. Baumgartner says 1 in 5 managers never received any training. So many employees are promoted to managers, but there is no clear guide on what it means to shift from an individual contributor to a manager. This lack of empowerment is creating a systemic issue of failure in management.

    • “There is no such thing as too much recognition as long as it’s meaningful”. [22:08] Recognition is one of the Four Pillars of Manager Effectiveness, in addition to meaningful contact, coaching, and development. Dr. Baumgartner speaks to the great impact of recognition. Managers must give some form of recognition once a month at the bare minimum, but she explains that weekly specific, individual recognition can make all the difference in manager effectiveness and team productivity.

    • “Manager effectiveness and manager empowerment are two different concepts that are linked. We must be empowering, supporting, developing, training our managers to deliver.” [25:29] Dr. Baumgartner asks the question, How can we measure and monitor effectiveness if we are not first empowering? First, managers need to set themselves up for success with education, support, and empowerment, and then ask team members how they’re doing. When it comes to measuring effectiveness, the employees ARE the measuring stick.

    • “We’re seeing that female managers are struggling in even more ways than the general population of managers.” [35:17] In their report, findings showed an overall lack of development in managers, but Dr. Baumgartner was surprised to find just how lacking it was when it came specifically to women. She describes the challenge women managers face to move out of middle management and how they are deepening research in this area.

    • “We need to be creating connections inside our organizations. Between managers and employees, between one function and another function, up and down. We need that connection; people aren’t getting it, and it’s hurting all of us.” [36:50] Throughout the conversation, Dr. Baumgartner shares the effects of isolation as it relates to this post pandemic era. Now more than ever, in our organizations, in order to be effective, connection is so important. 

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    About Marcel Schwantes

    Marcel Schwantes is the founder and chief human officer of Leadership from the Core, a global leadership training and executive coaching boutique aimed at developing great leaders and great cultures through Servant Leadership.

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