Second Annual "America's Workforce" Study Reveals U.S. Managers Are the Country's Most Undertrained, Unappreciated Employee

69% of Survey Respondents Admit Their Senior Leaders Do Not See a Strong Link Between Manager Training and Business Performance

SYLVANIA, OH--(Marketwired - Apr 1, 2015) - Root Inc., the strategy execution consulting company, today announced the results of a new study conducted in cooperation with Kelton Research -- "America's Workforce: A Revealing Study of Corporate America's Most Neglected Employee." The study, which is based on responses from 200 training executives in the U.S., reveals that managers are not properly prepared to lead their teams and their businesses to success because they are not a priority when it comes to training and development.

"In today's Corporate America, the role of manager is often the critical link between leadership, the front line and customers -- unfortunately, most organizations and their leadership teams tend to undervalue this employee. The latest 'America's Workforce' study has uncovered data to support this reality -- organizations often neglect to empower managers with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed," said Tracey Nawrocki, Director, Manager Development. "It is important to remember that outstanding individual contributors aren't always natural leaders, yet they are often promoted to a manager role because of their previous success. They might have potential, but they need the training -- for both technical and people skills -- along with sustained support to become great managers."

Nawrocki continued, "The study shows emphatically that even those organizations with the foresight to conduct manager training are wasting their time and resources if senior leadership doesn't show support, if the training doesn't address both technical and leadership skills and if sustainment tools aren't put into place."

The America's Workforce study found:

Managers Aren't Valued

  • 32% of respondents don't feel their company views managers as critical to success.
  • Reducing overhead (57%) and making technology upgrades (48%) are more likely to be prioritized than manager training investments (28%).
  • 67% say that in the next 12 months, it is not a priority to help employees understand how they can contribute to company goals or strategy.

Senior Leaders Aren't Supportive

  • 69% report that senior leaders don't believe in a strong link between effective manager training and business performance.
  • 57% say their manager training programs today are not supported by their senior leaders.

Training Is Short Sighted

  • 89% report that at least some of their budget from the last three years was spent on manager training that did not give them the long-term results they wanted.
  • 83% report that less than a quarter of their training budget, if any, is currently allocated to manager training sustainment -- which supports the dreary follow-up statistic that only 18% strongly feel their companies have been successful at sustainment so far.

The bottom line is this -- managers can be the difference makers and the ones to accelerate an organization's ability to execute strategy, yet their influence and potential is going largely untapped. To be successful, leadership can step in, recognize managers as the strategic assets that they are, and invest in leadership-focused training that is sustained over the long term.

View the full results of "America's Workforce: A Revealing Study of Corporate America's Most Neglected Employee" now.

The online survey analyzed the responses of 205 employed Americans working in communications, marketing, HR, organizational development, training, operations, strategy, or customer experience. All respondents are involved in manager training programs, such as designing or executing programs, or making decision on vendors or budgets. The study was conducted by Kelton, a leading global insights firm.

About the America's Workforce Research Series
Each year, Root Inc. and Kelton collaborate to explore a new element of what working in America looks like and means to employees today. The findings reveal valuable information that helps corporate leaders take action to improve their working environments and strategic success. For more information, read last year's study: "America's Workforce: A Revealing Account of What Employees Really Think About Today's Workplace."

About Root Inc.
Root is a strategy execution company that helps organizations engage their people as the catalyst and driver for change. Root does this by connecting people with complex strategies using creative and visual methods, transformative insights, and consulting know-how on strategy deployment and sustainment. With more than 20 years of capabilities developed from partnering with the world's largest businesses, Root has created a proven framework that consistently achieves clarity, ownership, and results. Based in Sylvania, Ohio, Root has been recognized as a Great Place to Work for eight consecutive years. Visit for more information or follow Root on Twitter: @therootinc.