The Importance of a Manager’s Influence on Employee Performance

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Often times, employee reviews are based on their competencies, aptitudes, and ability to perform the tasks assigned. Of course, an employee has to perform at the expected level and should always try to meet the expectations of his or her employer. However, an important factor that affects employee’s performance, but one that is usually left out when evaluating employees, is a manager’s influence on the employees’ performance.

An employer’s decision for hiring a candidate for any position is based mostly on five key elements: education, experience, soft skills, confidence and personality, according to Lisa Mooney, an experienced editor for, an online business publishing company. It is true that these elements are found in most job’s descriptions. However, the question remains: are they sufficient for guaranteeing an employee’s performance once hired?

Many experts agree that an employee’s performance could be at peak capacity or as low as zero depending on the work environment, the manager ability to motivate, train, reward, provide constructive feedbacks and lastly the overall culture and morale of the organization in which she or he is involved.

A manager who empowers, motivates, reassures, trains and rewards his or her team for a job well done will likely be managing a solid group of people whose loyalty and commitment to the job boost the strength of the team. However, a manager who constantly focuses on the negatives rather than seeking for opportunity for improving and developing the people that he/she manages will have nothing more than a team of disgruntled workers who dread coming to work. In other words, an employee’s performance and attitude is greatly influenced by the type of management that is in place and the work environment.

According to The Facts of Business Life: What Every Successful Business Owner Knows that You Don’t by Bill McBean, being a leader forces one to analyze his or her  own strengths and weaknesses, as well as those of the company, and enables one to develop a good sense of reality. Being a leader also means defining and exhibiting moral and ethical courage and setting an example for everyone in the company. It enables one to recruit, hire, and promote employees who demonstrate leadership abilities. Leaders who communicate well are those who not only share their thoughts with employees, but also let their strength and personal character show through in their communication, and empower those who work for them by defining the company’s goal and showing how to get there. Bill McBean concludes that if a manager is able to reflect these few qualities, then according to him, a Leader is born.

When a company has employees who are motivated and consistently deliver quality results, it is not just because the company hired qualified candidates. It is also because of efficient managerial techniques that enhance performance used by the leaders. Moreover, the company’s culture, consistency and clarity in its processes, policies and guidelines, and the employees’ willingness to contribute to the organization’s success also have a major impact on productivity.  However, leaders who materialize organizational goals and company visions through efficient leadership should not be left out of the picture when evaluating employee’s performances. They, too, should be praised for the excellence of their teams, because the results obtained are the fruit of their ability to efficiently develop and manage the powerful force of human capacity.

Picture credit: Michael Josephson,


  1. Eduard Tjart

    I agree 100% with the statements made!
    I think, though, that it all starts already at the hiring stage. There should be always a good overlap between what the future manager expects from the candidate and how the candidate wants to develop in his or her profession. Being in the right place is the best possible motivation one can have. Then the manager can act more like a coach and less as a supervisor.

  2. Kalyoncu Peri

    Selon ma conception du management, chaque “manager” (vs “leader”) devrait pouvoir créer un niveau de confiance suffisamment ancré dans son équipe pour ouvertement et franchement poser la question suivante à chacun de ses collaborateurs : “Et toi, comment évalues-tu ma performance ? Que devrais-je arrêter de faire ? Que devrais-je continuer à faire ? Que devrais-je commencer à faire ?”. Le manager peut ainsi clairement capturer ce qui est attendu de lui, et peut se positionner/s’auto-évaluer en terme de rôle modèle.

    • Carline P. L. Kelly

      Peri, merci pour les commentaires.

      Un manager ne peut pas plaire à tout le monde. Si un manager commence à faire ce que tout le monde lui demande de faire, il arrête de vivre. Il doit tout simplement être un motivateur, pas un dictateur…un leader, pas un bourreau. Il ne faut pas non plus confondre le manque de respect et de l’appréciation de l’autrui avec l’envie de dominer avec le “leadership”. Un bon leader devrait connaître la culture de son équipe, comment la guider dans la bonne direction, comment reconnaître ses employées pour un travail bien fait, et devrait laisser sa porte ouverte au dialogue.

      J’ai entendu une fois que les “great leaders are those who take people where they are afraid to go and show them how to get there.” Quand on guide quelqu’un, on lui montre le chemin. Montrer le chemin veut aussi dire donner des directives, une marche a suivre, mais qui se fait dans le respect.

  3. Rose

    On top of the points above, yes, the manager has a lot of influence on the employees performance. Management has a beginning but not an end and with new perspectives and some extra efforts on the manager’s part for ex:

    – Not overworking people as productivity declines if this is the case
    – Recognizing contributions & rewarding good work- everyone likes kudos
    – Caring about the employees, a balance being professional with being human
    – Honoring commitments- a fine line between very committed employees & watching the employees walking out of the door or staying but in a limbo, this might make the manager look slimy, uncaring & disrespectful if commitments are not honoured.
    – Letting employees pursue their passions to improve productivity, job satisfaction & helping develop skills
    – Setting lofty goals that push people out of their comfort zones

    Managers have to bring it all together and think carefully about how they treat the employees, listen, pay attention and give feedback for better performing employees.

    Good employees might be tough as nails, but their talent gives them abundance of options.
    People do not leave their jobs, they leave managers.

  4. Carline P. L. Kelly

    Eduard, thank you for the comment. It is true that being in the right place makes life easier for any worker at any level. However, a fair partnership and bond between the employee and the manager is still important. Otherwise, one might like his/her job, but the performance will suffer if the employee does not feel comfortable in the environment because of bad management.

    Thanks, I appreciate the comments.


  5. Carline P. L. Kelly

    Rose, thank you for the comments. It would be wrong to to blame it all on managers. Employees have a part to play as well. There must be equal efforts on both sides to balance things out. Sometimes, unfortunately, it’s the other way around. The idea is not to point fingers at managers, but to take into consideration their impact on employee performance, and what they could do to improve team performance, while at the same time maintaining a harmonious relationship with their employees and keeping them motivated.

    That said, I understand your point and appreciate your comment.



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