Connecting the Dots: Leader Diagnostic Results and Direct Report Experiences

Being a leader isn’t about being in control; it’s about guiding and inspiring others to achieve shared goals while fostering an environment of trust, collaboration, and growth. What if you could get ahead of the curve and understand exactly what skills your leaders need to create that connection and get their team engaged?

The FranklinCovey Skill Graph and 360 Diagnostic provide the indicators needed to help your leaders reach the next level. We dove deep into the 360 results of thousands of leaders to explore how a leader’s results relate directly to how their team members act and feel.

What we found is pretty amazing.

Our research shows that leaders who score high on these diagnostics tend to have teams that are much more engaged and satisfied. In fact, team members under these leaders are up to 89% more satisfied with their jobs and 55% more likely to stick around compared to those under lower-scoring leaders.

You don’t need to be in the top 1% to have a significant impact. Our data show that all leaders in the top 25% inspire and engage their teams similarly.

So, what makes these leaders so effective? It’s not just one or two things—it’s a mix of skills like setting goals, building trust, fostering innovation, and helping team members grow. These leaders are great at bringing out the best in their teams in many ways.

If you are interested in learning the specifics, check out the full 360 Diagnostic Observations related to the topics of engagement and retention below.

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360 Diagnostic Observations

Leaders who score high on the Diagnostic have highly engaged and satisfied teams who intend to stick around.

Direct reports who rate their managers in the top 25% also report being:

  • 56% more engaged with their work than direct reports who rated their managers in the bottom 25%.
  • 89% more satisfied with their job than direct reports who rated their managers in the bottom 25%.
  • 55% more likely to say they intend to stay at their job for the next year than direct reports who rated their managers in the bottom 25%.

Leaders scoring high on the 360 Diagnostic were viewed as much more effective leaders.

Direct reports were asked to rate how effective their manager is as a people leader. Managers rated in the top 25% on the Diagnostic were rated by direct reports as 2.45 times (or 145%) more effective as a leader relevant to managers scoring in the bottom 25%.

Leaders don’t need to be in the top 10%—the top 25% was associated with having highly engaged direct reports.

Managers who were rated in the 11th to 25th percentile on the Diagnostic had similarly engaged and satisfied direct reports as managers scoring in the top 10%. There are a few ways to interpret that, but the most encouraging interpretation may be that managers don’t need to end up in the top 5-10% to reap the benefits of being high in most or all the evaluated skills. Being in the top 25% is, and should feel like, a more achievable goal for leaders than being in the top 10%. (The caveat here is that we only have direct report outcomes. And it’s totally possible being rated in the top 10% on the Diagnostic has other benefits for a leader, potentially around the likelihood they’ll be promoted and/or viewed positively by their managers.)

Direct reports’ engagement was most impacted by a wide range of leadership skills that touch all 4 of FranklinCovey’s content categories.

We created a holistic measure of direct report experiences that combine direct reports’ engagement, job satisfaction, and feelings that they are a “valued member of a winning team doing meaningful work in an environment of trust”—a FranklinCovey value proposition. The top 10 skills from the Leader Diagnostic that relate to this measure of direct report experience do not come from a sole category or capability covered by FranklinCovey. Instead, they come from all four categories: Leadership, Individual Effectiveness, Winning Culture, and Breakthrough Results.

Evidence that great leaders have and need a wide range of skills—even from the perspective of their team. The clearest example of this may be that a leader’s capacity on two individual effectiveness skills—Managing Energy and Growth Mindset—were two of the strongest predictors of direct report experience.

Top 10 Skills Predicting Direct Report Experience:

  • Achieving Team Goals
  • Building Trusting Relationships
  • Developing and Retaining Talent
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Growth Mindset
  • Innovation and Creativity
  • Managing Energy
  • Managing Up and Across
  • Setting Team Goals
  • Vision Setting
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