At the average organization, frontline managers—also known as people managers—have 15 direct reports. They play an important part in organizational outcomes because they are responsible for developing their direct reports, who are responsible for much of the actual output of organizations. Therefore, the Association for Talent Development (ATD) developed the ACCEL model, which defines the five key abilities necessary for managerial success. Those skills are accountability, collaboration, communication, engagement, and listening and assessing. In ACCEL: The Skills That Make a Winning Manager, ATD Research applied the ACCEL model to examine managerial success and found that less than half (46 percent) of participants indicated that their organization had identified the specific skills related to managerial success in developing direct reports.
Given the importance of frontline managers and their critical task of developing the talent of direct reports, this report seeks to understand the barriers that keep managers from effectively exhibiting ACCEL skills, as well as how ACCEL skills training is delivered and and how success in developing direct reports is recognized and rewarded in organizations. Insights from top experts on management and soft skills provide additional perspective. The report also examines how success in developing direct reports is determined and whether organizations prioritize managerial development.