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45% of managers lack confidence to help employees develop the skills they need

In today’s rapidly evolving labour market, 45% of managers don’t feel confident in their ability to develop the skills employees need today, according to Gartner, Inc. In addition to a lack of confidence, Gartner research also found that managers lack time to coach their direct reports, with managers spending on average 9% of their time on developing their direct reports.

These issues around employee development are particularly problematic in a multigenerational work environment. Millennials report wanting feedback 50% more often than other employees; a Gartner survey found that more than 70% of HR executives believe that managers should get more involved in coaching employees compared with three years ago.

“Today’s organizations are undergoing a digital transformation that directly impacts how they do business, and they are finding a significant skills gap within their workforces,” said Jaime Roca, senior vice president in the Gartner HR practice. “Our research found that 70% of employees have not mastered the skills they need for their jobs today, let alone the skills needed for their future roles.”

Organisations that are most successful at developing their employees have focused on cultivating connector managers, who are able to connect employees to the right people and resources at the right time. In fact, connector managers boost employee performance by up to 26% and more than triple the likelihood that their employees will be high performers.

“Connector managers give targeted coaching and feedback in their areas of expertise, but they recognize that there are skills best taught by people other than themselves,” said Sari Wilde, managing vice president in the Gartner HR practice. “Connectors focus on assessing the skills, needs and interests of their employees and they surface the best opportunities for their employees to acquire experience, skills and capabilities — at the time they are needed.”

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