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Study: "undermanagement" epidemic persists (10/13)

October 13, 2010
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Nine out of ten employees say they do not get the four basics of good management from their immediate boss on a regular basis (at least once a month):

Clearly spelled out and reasonable expectations, including specific guidelines and a concrete timetable.

The skills, tools, and resources necessary to meet those expectations or else an acknowledgement that you are being asked to meet those expectations without them.

Accurate and honest feedback about your performance as well as course-correcting direction when necessary.

The fair quid pro quo — recognition and rewards — in exchange for your performance.

This report is based on data from RainmakerThinking, Inc.'s ongoing workplace research conducted since 1993, taken from selected participants in RainmakerThinking, Inc.'s seminars, focus groups, one-on-one interviews, email interviews, and on-line questionnaires, including thousands of individuals from numerous different organizations in the private, public, and non-profit sectors.

The consequences of undermanagement make the impact of micromanagement look like nothing:
  • Unnecessary problems occur.
  • Small problems (that could have been solved easily) turn into big problems
  • Resources are squandered
  • Employees perform tasks/responsibilities the wrong way for longer periods of time
  • Low performers hang around causing problems for everyone else (and collecting the same paycheck as everyone else too)
  • High performers get frustrated, lose commitment, and think about leaving
  • Employees are not set-up to perform at their best
  • Managers spend their management time in all the wrong ways


Since 1993, RainmakerThinking, Inc. has conducted ongoing research on the dynamics of supervisory relationships in the changing workplace. Late in 2002, we began to focus our research on an alarming pattern: We found that a huge preponderance of those in leadership positions, at all levels, were severely "undermanaging" their direct reports on a day to day basis. That is, a great many leaders, managers, and supervisors at all levels in organizations of all shapes and sizes in every industry were not providing employees with what could be considered "the basics of management."

RainmakerThinking, Inc. Research has been the source information for 18 books, hundreds of articles by Bruce Tulgan, and has been cited in thousands of news stories around the world. Bruce Tulgan is the founder and chairman of RainmakerThinking, Inc. www.rainmakerthinking.com.

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