People Management Skills, Employee Attrition, and Manager Rewards: An Empirical Analysis

56 Pages Posted: 5 Jan 2018 Last revised: 6 Feb 2018

See all articles by Mitchell Hoffman

Mitchell Hoffman

University of Toronto - Rotman School of Management; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Steven Tadelis

University of California, Berkeley - Haas School of Business; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: February 2018

Abstract

How much do a manager's interpersonal skills with subordinates, what we call people management skills, affect employee outcomes, and are managers rewarded for having such skills? Using personnel data and surveys of employees about their managers at a large, high-tech firm, we show that survey-measured people management skills have a strong negative relation to employee turnover. A causal interpretation is reinforced by research designs exploiting new workers joining the firm and manager moves. However, people management skills do not consistently improve non-attrition outcomes. Better people managers are themselves more likely to receive higher subjective performance ratings and to be promoted.

Keywords: people management, attrition, supervisors, employee surveys, productivity

JEL Classification: M53, D23, J24, L23

Suggested Citation

Hoffman, Mitchell and Tadelis, Steven, People Management Skills, Employee Attrition, and Manager Rewards: An Empirical Analysis (February 2018). Rotman School of Management Working Paper No. 3094576. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3094576 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3094576

Mitchell Hoffman (Contact Author)

University of Toronto - Rotman School of Management ( email )

105 St. George Street
Toronto, Ontario M5S 3E6 M5S1S4
Canada

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Steven Tadelis

University of California, Berkeley - Haas School of Business ( email )

545 Student Services Building, #1900
2220 Piedmont Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

London
United Kingdom

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