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People management skills, employee attrition, and manager rewards: an empirical analysis

Feb 2018
Working Paper
By  Mitchell Hoffman, Steven Tadelis
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 managers moving jobs. 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.
Publication Keywords: 
people management
employee surveys