How to Support your Managers image

How to Support your Managers

Staff Squared date icon23rd August 2019

Tag iconManaging staff

The business world is much faster-paced, more complex and more uncertain than it has ever been, but managers are failing to keep up. Why?

Research from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development has uncovered some shocking and, quite frankly, upsetting statistics which need to be addressed if employers want their companies and teams to be successful, including: 

  • Managers spend less than 5% of their time (formally or informally) discussing work issues with the people they are managing. 
  • Just half of the employees surveyed feel that they are satisfied with the amount of contact time they have with their manager. 
  • 1 in 5 employees say that they have never had a formal meeting with their manager. 

These are only a few of the alarming points raised in the research. You can read more about 

that here.

Did you know? Management practices in the UK have failed to improve over the last 10 years!

The reality is that a manager can only be as successful as the team that they lead. If the team struggles, it is often the manager (unfairly or otherwise) who takes responsibility for poor performance. Behind the scenes, however, there are an infinite number of variables that can impact the performance of a team. A frequently overlooked factor is how a team responds to their manager and the type of support that the manager is afforded by the team itself. Being a manager can often be a lonely and isolating job but it really doesn’t have to be. Here’s what you can do to help:

How to Support your Managers in 5 Simple Ways

If you adopt these 5 simple yet effective tips, you are sure to see employees benefiting from their managers and healthier working relationships all round. 

Training is Paramount

You can’t expect anyone to do a job well without providing them with the appropriate level of training and your managers are no different. In fact, as they are in a position of leadership, the quality of training given to management holds, perhaps, an even bigger precedence over the successful day-to-day running of your business as they are responsible for not just themselves, but the team that works below them, too. 

Integrate with existing team practices – Don’t isolate their learning. Wherever possible, link any training that you put your managers and team leaders through back to their daily responsibilities, the general processes within the company and anything else that might be relevant to them and the individual/s they manage. 

Get real and be relevant – Likewise, learning should be relevant to the job and the current tasks or responsibilities of the manager while also supporting important work initiatives (leaderships, sales, new systems, processes etc.).   

Apply learning – If a manager is seen by their team to be concerned for their training and development, the likelihood is that they will gain more respect from those they manage, so you should focus on helping managers to help their teams apply learning and learn from each other. This could include:

  • Supporting coaching skills and peer group sessions.
  • Providing resources to use back at the desk (checklists, workflows, etc.).
  • Supporting mechanisms like forums or in-house social networking.
  • Growing a culture of learning conversations.
  • Helping them set projects that will encourage staff to apply new skills.

Engage Before Executing

Involve your managers and team leaders in the planning process of any new ideas that you come up with that are relevant to them and their staff. Whether it be to do with learning or if it’s part of a bigger picture in terms of your overall processes, allowing your managers to take part in these conversations (or even just keeping them in the loop on the direction you’re taking) will generate more engagement and provide an opportunity to managers to understand more about the business.

Having your managers and team leaders in the know about important issues will also allow them to communicate more effectively with their teams. If they are aware of important deadlines, exciting new ventures or any other relevant business attributes, then they can ensure that all staff are on the same page and working towards a common goal. 

Gather Feedback

Part of including your managers in important conversations and keeping them in the know about things that are happening within the business in only half of the puzzle. It’s all well and good sitting them down for a cosy chat and telling them what you intend to do moving forward, but it won’t really mean anything to them if they aren’t given the opportunity to offer their opinion or feedback. Ask them how they feel about the movements you plan to make and whether they have any suggestions that they think could improve on what’s already on the table. You never know – they might surprise you with something that you never even thought of.

You’ll also find that by encouraging your managers to share their thoughts with you, they will be more likely to have similar conversations with their own staff, which will provide you with an even deeper insight to what your workforce feel about the way things are being done. 

Share Good News

Your success is their success – and don’t ever forget it. Without your workforce, nothing would be possible (well maybe not ‘nothing’, but there would be a lot that you’d struggle with, for sure!) and when you do well, that will reflect predominantly on their hard work and determination. If you have some good news, share it. Spreading the love and letting your team celebrate their own achievements will boost morale and productivity. It also goes without saying that if managers and team leaders are feeling in high spirits, their employees are more likely to reflect their positive moods and attitudes.  

Equip Managers through Innovative Experiences 

Ensure that your managers and team leaders have access to the right systems and equipment to allow them to not only do their job, but to do it well. Obviously, you need to consider what can be justified in your budget, but if they express the need for something that will help them to perform in their role better or more efficiently, do everything in your power to meet the request where possible. 

Additionally, if you are providing any form of management or leadership development, do it in a way that models great online learning experiences. Embrace the resources available to you to develop your team into the best leaders they can be. 

Written by Clarisse Levitan

Lead Customer Support Agent - Staff Squared

Clarisse works as the Lead of our Customer Support Team to provide all of our customers with the very best care and guidance when using their HR software.

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