article » New Evolv Research Uncovers What Makes Effective Managers, Seasonal Workers

New Evolv Research Uncovers What Makes Effective Managers, Seasonal Workers

November 6, 2013
2 min read

Q4 Workforce Performance Report from big data software company debunks common people management misconceptions that contribute to $350 billion business cost yearly.

Evolv, a big data company redefining the workforce, today released its latest Quarterly Workforce Performance Report. Highlights include new data that uncovers the real characteristics that make effective managers and seasonal employees, a key point of interest for businesses ramping up for holiday hiring. Evolv’s research is drawn from its cloud-based big data network, which now contains over half a billion data points about the customer facing workforce from 13 countries and 18 different industries including telecom, retail, financial services and business process outsourcing.

“Smart businesses are increasingly looking to their workforce as their greatest source of advantage. We are a service economy and a company’s value is measured by its ability to deliver an optimal customer experience,” said Max Simkoff, co-founder and CEO of Evolv. “It’s more important than ever that the right people are in the right roles – including managers. At Evolv, we believe that big data insights are valuable across the employee lifecycle, not just at hire. This quarter’s revealing data on the massive impact of a good – or bad – manager further proves that business impact.”

What Really Makes a Good Manager?

Managers are the largest influence in whether or not an employee leaves a position, through their multiplying effect on the performance of the workforce as a whole, play an instrumental part in driving a company’s revenue stream. Evolv research found:

Employees won’t work for creative managers for very long: The higher managers test on the innovation and creativity scale, the shorter their employees stay with the company. Additionally, managers who are skilled multi-taskers have lower rates of employee retention.

Experienced managers perform better, but past experience doesn’t matter for non-managerial roles: Experienced managers perform better, but that wisdom doesn’t apply to the employees they hire. A cornerstone of most hiring criteria, past experience does not predict employee performance on the job. Customer outcomes were the same whether an employee was experienced or new.

Managers who strategize and plan lose employees: “Reactive” managers who readily adapt to changing business conditions retain employees longer than managers who plan for the future.

Hallmarks of Effective Seasonal and Temporary Workers

Every year, businesses hire seasonal workers for the holiday commerce push. But what should companies look for in those workers to optimize their seasonal business results? Evolv research unveiled:

The best seasonal workers should be extroverted, inquisitive, and good at multi-tasking. Loyalty and creativity are not important; the data shows that reward-driven workers make the best hires.

The best retail workers must have an innate aptitude for sales, which isn’t surprising. However research also found that employees that succeed in a retail environment must have great spatial orientation and conflict resolution skills – two characteristics that aren’t screened for in the typical interview.

“Evolv is one of the very few companies that produces rigorous and transparent research on the workplace,” said Matthew Spitzer, director of the Searle Center on Law, Regulation, and Economic Growth at Northwestern University, which is building a partnership with Evolv. “Their work helps to improve and extend our understanding of the workforce, and allows employers to be more efficient.”

About the Evolv Workforce Performance Report

Evolv releases a research report each quarter that shares insights on the hourly workforce through the lens of big data expertise. Today’s report can be downloaded at The report analyzes over half a billion anonymous performance, retention, demographic and behavioral data points from many of the world’s most influential global brands.

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