People Management Skills, Employee Attrition, and Manager Rewards: An Empirical Analysis
43 Pages Posted: 28 Feb 2018 Last revised: 5 Mar 2021
Date Written: February 2018
How much do a manager’s interpersonal skills with subordinates, which we call people management skills, affect employee outcomes? Are managers rewarded for having such skills? Using personnel data from 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 most observed non-attrition outcomes. Better people managers themselves receive higher subjective performance ratings, higher promotion rates, and larger salary increases.
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