Management theorist Henry Mintzberg said no job is more vital to our society than that of the manager. Why is the job of managing so important? There's the obvious stuff, managers are concerned with efficiencies. Somebody has to ensure the organizations' resources are used to meet its strategy and not squandered elsewhere. Managers watched the deadlines, good managers get higher productivity out of their employees. Stanford economics Professor Kathryn Shaw found that workers productivity is determined by a set of factors: personal ability, learning over time, the quality of the current boss, the quality of the previous boss, whether the current boss is a good match for the worker, and the effects of peers. How much does the current boss matter in all of that? Her research in the US, Canada, and parts of Europe showed that the move from an average quality boss to one in the 90th percentile raises worker productivity by 50 percent. When the worker leaves that boss, they retain 25 percent of any performance gains for the next year of employment, because a good boss teaches and grooms employees for the future, not just for current needs. Good managers provide immediate and long-term benefits to productivity and therefore to an organization's profitability. Other research shows that managers with strong managerial skills reduce employee attrition, that's the number of employees leaving the organization, and because those managers positively influence employee motivation, and the researchers posit more motivated workers are less interested in outside opportunities and so they're less likely to quit, and they're less prone to behave in ways that results in their being fired. Managers provide the coaching, real-time feedback, that is so vital to employee success and commitment. In a McKinsey survey, 74 percent of respondents whose managers were effective at giving feedback and coaching said their companies had effective performance management systems and that belief had a positive impact on employee performance which led to those organizations outperforming their peers. You will learn how to coach for performance in this course. Managers who are well-versed in their organization strategy can, as McKinsey partner Bill Schaninger says, help their direct reports understand the value of their work and how it fits into that broader strategy, and that highlights the progress those employees are making toward the strategic goals. Progress toward meaningful goals is, according to Amabile and Kramer, the greatest motivator. Further, when direct reports see the connection between their tasks and the organization's strategy they focus on the activities most likely to bring the company's strategy to fruition as you'll see when you watch the videos on strategy. They become alert to future opportunities and threats and those who manage upward to you will share them with you. The manager enabling you to make good decisions that results in your company beating its competitors to market reducing threats to profitability and sustaining performance. Other research presented in the HBR article, What Great Managers Do Daily, show that employees who receive one on one time with their managers are less likely to be disengaged. Great managers bring out and utilize their direct reports' internal motivation resulting in higher productivity, lower attrition, and better performance. But there are also less direct invisible outcomes of manager behavior. Managers are vital to our society because they influence the daily life of tens, hundreds, maybe thousands of direct reports. A study by the American Psychological Association found that 75 percent of Americans say their boss is the most stressful part of their workday. Managers who berate, excessively criticize, and bully, creates stress not only for their employees but also to the families, as employees displaced their pent-up aggression at home. How many lives does a bad manager influence? If the average manager has 10 direct reports and each of them lives with at least two other people, one crappy boss can negatively affect the lives of at least 30 people. That's not counting anyone else to whom those direct reports might offload their stress, the bus driver, the grocery store cashier, the neighbors. Do good managers affect home life? Yes, you do. Research showed that the home life and well-being of distressed employees improves when their supervisors make themselves available to talk. This does not mean you should act like a therapist unless you are a licensed emotional health care provider, do not attempt to play armchair psychoanalyst to your employees. It does not mean that a good manager seeks to uncover the inner home life of their direct reports, rather seek to understand their inner work life. Amabile and Kramer say, "this has a potent effect on creativity and productivity." Make yourself available to talk and discover your direct reports' inner work-life and that means being respectful and supportive with them every time you interact with them. It means talking with them about their work and how it contributes to the organization, providing feedback when they do things well, and guidance when they need it. You'll learn more about this throughout the course. Managers matter, you matter because you influence employee commitment and engagement, productivity, attention to strategic goals, the likelihood of their remaining with the company, and because you contribute to the quality of life for both employees and their families, I believe that management is a noble profession when we decide to be a force for good.