January 11, 2024

Need-To-Know People Manager Statistics, Trends & Data: 2024

5 min read
By Jeremy Bell

As organisations continue to evolve going into 2024, so too does the role of the line manager. From changing expectations of middle management from both employers and their line reports to unsustainable task loads and remits, line managers continue to emerge as pivotal enablers of retention, wellbeing and productivity.

We’ve curated 25+ need-to-know emerging trends and statistics that will define the state of line management – and the future of leadership – going into 2024 and beyond.

1) In 2024, managers will be the greatest tether your people have to your organisation:
  • A person’s relationship with management accounts for 86% of their satisfaction with their interpersonal ties at work (2023)
  • 26% of managers cite departure of valuable team members as the biggest complication they face in their duties (44% cite “organisational bureaucracy” as their biggest complication) (2023)
  • 52% of exiting people say their manager or organisation could have done something to prevent them from leaving. (2023)
  • 54% of people strongly agree they planned to be working at the same organisation two years from now when they reported to a manager in the top quartile of Gallup’s Manager Enablement Index, compared with only 39% of people who said the same and reported to a manager in the bottom quartile of the index. (2022)
    • Or to put it more succinctly: People are 15% more likely to stay at an organisation long-term if they have a high-performing manager
  • 70% of the variance in team engagement is determined solely by the manager. (2023)
2) However, most organisations aren’t setting up their managers for success:
  • Only 20% of managers strongly agree that their organisation helps them be successful people managers. (2023)
    • 42% of managers either disagree or are unsure that their organisations set them up to be successful people managers. (2023)
  • Only 48% of managers strongly agree that they currently have the skills needed to be exceptional at their job. (2023)
  • Nearly nine in ten middle managers believe that clear and timely communication is vital to their success. However, only 54% of managers say senior leadership is effective in meeting this need. (2023)
  • Due largely to layoffs in 2023, 64% of managers said they were given extra job responsibilities, 51% said their teams were restructured and 42% said their company had budget cuts, leaving them with fewer resources to complete work. (2023)
3) Managers have an outsized impact on the mental health and wellbeing of their teams, both in and out of work:
  • Managers have just as much of an impact on people’s mental health as their spouse (both 69%) — and even more of an impact than their doctor (51%) or therapist (41%) (2023)
  • Although employee engagement has begun to rise following a post-pandemic dip, so has stress and burnout: 52% of people have recently experienced a lot of stress due to their roles. (2023)
  • 60% of people worldwide say their job is the biggest factor influencing their mental health. (2023)
  • 81% of people worldwide would prioritise good mental health over a high-paying job, and 64% admit they would take a pay cut for a job that better supports their mental wellness. (2023)
4) However, managers themselves are stressed, burnt out, and most are looking for new roles:
  • 52% of managers are watching for or actively seeking new roles. (2023)
  • 42% of middle managers say they are often or always stressed — a higher share than C-suite executives (2023)
  • Only 22% of managers believe their organisation cares about their overall wellbeing, a 53% decrease since 2020. (2023)
5) Line managers aren’t clear on their duties or priorities:
  • Managers understand the importance of mentorship: 86% say coaching team members and 56% say development of team members are the top two ways they add the most value, yet most managers agree that people management is one of the least-valued areas of their duties by their organisation, behind strategy-related and individual-contributor work. (2023)
  • Perhaps because of its lesser perceived importance to their organisation, Managers report spending almost three-quarters of their time on tasks not directly related to talent management. (2023)

Not sure how to equip your managers with the tools they need?

Behind every engaged employee stands a manager who made it possible, but your managers will need to be set up for success through structured management development to truly help and guide their line reports.

Introducing The Expedition: A ready-to-deploy, highly modular end-to-end line manager training solution, designed by The Smarty Train’s award-winning learning design team to equip your line managers with the tools and skills they need to be effective guides for their line reports, and strong ambassadors for your organisation.


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