The Lighthouse Manager Score™ is the culmination of our multi-year effort to help you be a better manager. 

You can see it in our blog posts, the features we carefully build in our core product, and now the questions, analysis, and recommendations in Manager Score™

After reading your Manager Score™ results, we're excited you're interested in going even deeper. 

Common Questions to Understand Your Manager Score™

1) Why are "Effective Managers" greater than 80%?

The 80% line specifically comes from a few different sources:

As applied by companies: 

  • We spoke to dozens of companies as we developed this feature and every one that was running something like Manager Score™ manually had a clear line for a warning score that was either 80% or similar based on their own scoring system.  

  • Google's Upward Feedback Survey found that the bottom quartile of managers scored below 80%, which led to higher turnover and worse performance than their colleagues well above 80%.

Logic and common association: 

  • All our questions we score you on are worth 1 to 5 points from Strongly Disagree (1) to Strongly Agree (5). If you're below an 80% that means your team is scoring you below "Agree" (4) on average. That's not a good sign and we want to warn you accordingly. 

  • An 80% is usually around the border between a B and C in school, which for most people is then the start of a good grade, or risk of doing poorly. 

Being GREAT makes the biggest difference in engagement & performance:

  • Gallup has a ton of fantastic data which we've analyzed and summarized on the Lighthouse blog many times. One of the biggest patterns in their work is that those marking "Strongly Agree" to their questions are much more likely to be engaged. 

  • Here's one such example: (Notice the steep drop off from Strongly Agree) 

The bottom line: 80% is the real border of being a good manager.

Since people leave managers, not companies, what you do as a manager is critical. That's why we built Manager Score™ in the first place. 

We draw a line at this level because if you're below that, you need to make changes, or you're at risk for issues (turnover, low morale, etc) on your team.  

Your Total Score represents the average of all your teams' responses, so realize we're merely a conduit to know what you're team really wants you to know. 

If you're below 80% take your medicine and get better. That's why we give you so many recommendations for getting better and further reading.   

2) What is Favorability?

Think of this as your Presidential Approval Rating. It is a calculation of the percent of your team members that marked they either Agree or Strongly Agree with the statement in that question about you.  

Remember: Your team rates you on one of 5 levels for each question (called the Likert Scale):

  • Strongly Disagree

  • Disagree

  • Neutral

  • Agree

  • Strongly Agree

So anyone who doesn't Agree or Strongly Agree is someone you could definitely improve with in this area. 

If you're low in Favorability on a question, use the question as guidance for what you need to improve; start consciously trying to do those things in the question with your team. 

For example, if you were low in Favorability for the question, "My manager effectively communicates expectations for my performance" you should communicate your expectations more with your team by repeating yourself more, putting things in writing, or discussing expectations in your 1 on 1s).

3)  How do I get better in weak areas?

Follow the tips in the section you scored low on. Read the posts we link to and think about how you can apply them. 

The single best place to cover these kinds of issues is your 1 on 1. It's a private time, meeting individually with your team, so the prefect time to give feedback, talk about their career, and get to know them better. 

If you spend most of your 1 on 1s talking about status updates, then STOP NOW. It's a colossal waste of the time. 

Instead, start putting these topics from Manager Score™ on your agenda and spend a good bit of your time in the meetings working on your area(s) of weakness. 

If you're new to 1 on 1s, or don't know what they are, here's two places to start:

4) How did you pick these categories? Why are they the most important?

There are many different questions we could ask, but we wanted to focus on the ones that are highest impact.  

We did the research so you don't have to.  

We focus on 4 high-impact categories:

  1. Feedback

  2. Growth

  3. Rapport

  4. Retention

There's tons of data showing these are essential ways great leaders separate themselves, which is why we chose them. 

Here's a few quick highlights:

  • Feedback: Without feedback, performance suffers. How can anyone know how they're doing if you don't tell them? Data shows the vast majority of employees want more feedback much than just at review time: 

  • Growth: This is the #1 perk employees want at work and a leading cause of turnover if they don't get it. An overwhelming amount of data reinforces that you can read here.  Below is one of those studies, from PwC:

  • Rapport: If your team doesn't trust you, they won't come to you with problems. This puts you in firefighting mode (only coming to you when something is really bad) and getting blindsided by surprise turnover.  Trust is also a major driver of engagement according to the psychological safety study by Google, and Gallup's work:

  • Retention: Zooming out from key habits, you need to know if your team is thinking about leaving. The questions we ask are looking for those warning signs.  There's a good chance if you're low in Retention, you're also low in Feedback, Rapport, and/or Growth, which then is your best bet for how to improve Retention concerns.

5) What am I supposed to do with the Retention score?

When we designed the Manager Score™ survey, we knew that the key habits we look at are important, but that doesn't mean everyone will agree with us. 

By asking Retention questions, we're cutting through any objections to our other research-backed questions and getting to the heart of the matter:  Am I at risk of losing any of my team? 

If your team is happy to recommend you to others, and doesn't want to report to someone else, then you're probably doing okay as a manager. 

However, if it's low at all, that should be a wake up call.  Someone might quit. Or you could lose a whole wave at once.

So if you have a low Retention score, use it as a rallying cry for making change. There's no silver bullet to fixing it, but a series of smaller changes can add up. 

That's what the other 3 categories are there to help you understand. You'll improve your retention score when you improve in the other 3 categories.

6) Should I talk to my team about my Manager Score™?

Yes! It's up to you how specific you get, but you definitely need to talk about it. 

Managers who believe strongly in transparency may share the whole report with them and talk about what they learned.  

If you're a little more private about your score, you should still talk to everyone on your team about it at a high level. 

These are the bare minimum things we recommend so your team know it's worth their time to complete their Manager Score™ survey:

  1. Thank them for taking the time to complete the survey. Tell them you appreciate their input (even if you don't agree with all of it).

  2. Tell them what you're going to do based on what you learned.  Actions speak louder than words, so letting them know they'll see changes based on what they wrote is powerful and reinforces your openness to feedback.

Talking to your team about it also makes them more likely to be open to your feedback, because of the reciprocity principle.  

You have everything to gain and little to lose by talking to your team about your Manager Score™, so make sure it gets on your next 1 on 1's agenda to talk about it.

7) How often can I run a Manager Score™?

This is designed to be run once per quarter. 

This gives you 3 months to work on the areas you scored low on. That's enough time to improve your feedback habits, help them make some real progress on their careers, or do more to show you care about your team.

Best of all, we save your team and score so you can retake the survey with just a few clicks. Just log back into your account then.  

And of course, if you want help improving that score, you should definitely try Lighthouse, which is purpose-built to help with these essential manager habits. From timely reminders, to helpful structure, it will help you stay organized and make progress in these key areas. 

8) Can I get Manager Scores for all the managers in my group/dept/org?

Yes! Send us an email at [email protected] and we can talk about how to make this effortless, and get you and other senior leaders all the extra reporting you need.

9) I have another question about my Manager Score™ report. Who do I ask?

Send us an email at [email protected] and we're happy to answer your question. 

If we think others will benefit, you may see an adapted version of the answer we send you added to this document.

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