Where's the Boss?

February 21, 2017

Survey: Employee Productivity at Risk After Senior Managers Depart

Toronto, ON – Employee productivity can take a big hit when the boss leaves, a new survey shows. According to research from staffing firm Robert Half, both workers and CFOs believe having a vacant senior manager role has an adverse impact on the team’s efficiency, though those in leadership (78 per cent) are likelier to find it an even greater problem than staffers (69 per cent).

Decreased morale and motivation were the biggest reported causes of lost productivity among both groups, followed by concerns over increased workloads and fear about job security or relationships with the new boss.

“Changes in management create an opportunity for employers to demonstrate a corporate culture of support and open communication with staff,” said Greg Scileppi, president of Robert Half, International Staffing Operations. “Whether it’s questions about their own job stability, potential changes to their role or just the process for transition, managers should do what they can to alleviate any concerns employees may have that could impact their ability to effectively do their jobs.”

Workers and CFOs were asked, “To what extent, if any, do you believe a senior manager’s voluntary or involuntary departure from the organization impedes employee productivity while the role remains open?” Their responses:

 

 

Workers

CFOs

Greatly impedes

18%

18%

Somewhat impedes

51%

60%

Does not impede employee productivity at all

20%

21%

Don’t know

    11%

    1%

 

100%

100%

 

Those who said a senior manager’s departure can impede productivity while the role remains unfilled were also asked, “Which one of the following do you believe is the greatest cause of lost productivity?” Their responses:

 

 

Workers

CFOs

Decreased employee morale or motivation

49%

42%

Increased workloads

19%

18%

Fear about job security or the relationship with a new boss

19%

17%

Internal competition for the new position

3%

18%

Something else

8%

4%

Don’t know

      2%

   1%

 

100%

100%

 

Scileppi added, “When a senior member of a team leaves a company, employers should mitigate the risk of decreased morale or increased turnover, by keeping their teams informed, motivated and engaged while moving quickly to replace the open position.”

Managers can avoid a drop in productivity and help employees effectively navigate changes in leadership by heeding this advice from Robert Half:

  • Cultivate succession and hiring pipelines. Know who in your department or company might be ready to move into a bigger role, and keep a trusted recruiter on speed dial.
  • Consider an interim boss. If you don’t have someone who can step into a leadership position immediately, hire an interim manager to keep projects moving and workloads in check.
  • Move quickly. Minimize the time of uncertainty by filling the role swiftly yet smartly, making sure you check off all necessary steps.
  • Keep everyone informed. Updating your team about the progress of the search for a new manager can help improve staff morale and keep rumors to a minimum.

About the Research

The surveys were developed by Robert Half and conducted by an independent research firm. The survey of workers includes responses from more than 390 professionals age 18 and over and employed in office environments. The CFO survey is based on telephone interviews with more than 270 CFOs from a stratified random sample of companies in Canada.

About Robert Half
Founded in 1948, Robert Half is the world’s first and largest specialized staffing firm. The Menlo Park, Calif.-based company has more than 325 staffing locations worldwide and offers online job search and management tools at roberthalf.ca. For career and management advice, follow our blog at roberthalf.ca/blog. Follow Robert Half Canada on Twitter at @RobertHalf_CAN for additional workplace advice and hiring trends.

For further information contact: Naz Araghian, (416) 865-2140, [email protected]