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The world has changed. Our people have changed. And so must the future of work. So is it fair to expect our managers and leaders to get to grips with these changes almost overnight?
Managers have a huge responsibility on their shoulders. Wellbeing, hybrid working. Helping the team learn and develop. Being authentic, inspirational. Rallying the troops, getting the most out of a team with diverse needs. And it’s no secret that managers are the critical ingredient to employee engagement. Indeed, a recent Gallup poll said they’re responsible for 70% of variants around team engagement.
It’s a very big juggling act for managers to perform.
So, when we hear companies talking about getting back to ‘normal’, we challenge this. Normal is outdated, it doesn’t exist anymore – and perhaps it never did. If leaders are going to be successful in this post-pandemic world, we need to #SAYNOTONORMAL. And instead, equip our managers will the new tools, skills and support they need to create team environments where every unique employee can thrive.
Let leaders lead the way
So where do you start? We think it’s wise to start by giving your leaders time to look inwards – because if they don’t know and understand themselves, how can they understand anyone else?
As Forbes say, “You should expect a leader to be acutely aware of any personal shortcomings and have a positive, ongoing plan to improve and compensate for weaknesses.”
Great leadership is going to be crucial in winning the hearts and minds of your people – and ensuring future business success. And any investment you make in self-improvement for your managers will inevitably lead to business improvement.
A management evolution
The pre-covid workplace no longer exists. And the pandemic has made colleagues look much more closely at what they want from their working life. A recent Forum Pulse survey suggests that 76% of colleagues want the freedom to work remotely and 93% the freedom to work to their own schedules (if that’s practical).
Managers will need to listen. Understand what’s going on with their people. Learn how to navigate individual expectations and desires. Then work out a way to create an environment where all team members can thrive in a culture of belonging.
They’ll need time to learn fresh ways to manage, coach and engage. To refine new ways of working to help energise and inspire their hybrid teams, whilst setting expectations, responsibilities, and accountability. We recommend working with managers to co-create the training, guidance and support they need and delivering this in short, sharp bitesize comms that are easy to digest at speed.
Need some help?
We know this is a lot to take on board, but we’re here to help. We’re already supporting brands to audit leadership behaviours, coach line managers and create tools to support them across all areas of individualised management. So, talk to us about our Leadership Connection workshops, or any of our other Future of Work packages and #SAYNOTONORMAL with McCann Synergy.