How to Better Support Managers During a Crisis

26th October 2020

Managers play a pivotal role within organisations; how they lead and interact with your employees is a key factor in employee engagement, wellbeing, performance and staff turnover.

Managers are your people’s key point of contact and are responsible for leading, supporting and reassuring your people, particularly during a crisis.

Resilient, trusted and emotionally intelligent managers can make the world of difference to your organisation’s overall health.

According to McKinsey & Co, the relationships with management are the most important factor when it comes to employees’ job satisfaction, which is the second most important determinant of employees’ overall wellbeing.[1]

Covid-19 restrictions and the almost overnight adoption of remote working has highlighted just how important this bond is.

For most managers their jobs have suddenly become a lot harder as they are under greater pressure to deliver extra support for their teams while trying to adapt to, and navigate, an entirely new way of working.

Managers are at greater risk of burnout

As a result of the pandemic, managers are facing unprecedented challenges, such as;

  • Managing inclusion in isolation
  • Supporting distributed workforces or reduced workforces operating in difficult circumstances
  • Providing extra mental health support
  • Tackling the rapid rise of presenteeism and leaveism
  • Offering a greater number of employees check ins and feedback
  • Managing heightened employee anxieties

The impact of this additional stress is becoming evident; as of May 2020 many managers were feeling significantly less positive than other employees, particularly in relation as to how they should prioritise their work.[2]

Companies need to be particularly aware of this extra burden on their managers. A two-year study found that managers are at greater risk than other employees of suffering burnout, a syndrome resulting from exhaustion and prolonged workplace stress.

Burnout can have devastating long-term effects on their health and companies should take preventative action now.

Don’t let your managers ‘go it alone’

A recent survey on the impact of remote working found that 46% of managers feel they had not received extra support during Covid-19, with a number of respondents saying they had to ‘go it alone’ in managing their people during an unprecedented global emergency.[3]

This sentiment is unlikely to be resolved anytime soon, as a survey by PwC found that nine in ten UK CEOs (86%) see a permanent shift towards more remote working.[4]

With this new world of work the role of the manager will only become even more critical to the wellbeing and performance of employees.[5]

Now is the time that organisations should be planning for how they will provide extra support to their managers.

 So, what can you do to support your managers moving forward?

1 – Equip your managers with the right tools

Managers often have hectic schedules with long to-do lists, and are frequently time poor.

Under the current restrictions, their time is being stretched even further and their ability to connect with their people has been reduced significantly.

To make their life easier and ensure that their duty of care to their people is not neglected, organisations should provide their managers with the right digital tools to make their job easier.

With access to the right systems and equipment, they will be able to perform their role better or more efficiently.

2 – Create space for conversations

Pick a platform that can quickly give your managers insights about their people’s needs. Employees need to be given a voice and space so they can proactively let their managers know how they are doing or if they need support and guidance.

Similarly, managers need to be able to quickly respond and reach out to their people on a regular basis.

An employee engagement, wellbeing and recognition platform like Trickle allows managers to easily check in with their teams, get feedback on company actions, and identify opportunities for improvement.

With its optional anonymity feature, Trickle empowers employees to speak up openly even about topics they may find uncomfortable discussing.

By creating this space and means of more personal connectivity, managers will have the insights they need to prioritise their focus more efficiently.

Trickle automatically ranks the top five issues employees are concerned about, which enables managers to take relevant actions based on what matters most to their people.

3 – Get more people involved and make lasting changes

Wellbeing and engagement should not be the sole responsibility of managers or one single department; instead organisations should take a more inclusive approach to their strategy by empowering people across the operation to champion and support wellbeing.

Doing this will remove the onus that is placed on managers and will help drive an organisational attitude shift towards making wellbeing a part of everyday conversations. Organisations should adopt the approach that wellbeing is everyone’s responsibility.

The more people across the organisation that are involved, the greater the chance any changes made will have a positive and long-lasting impact. Buy-in from both employees and leadership is essential to making a permanent company culture shift.

With a good company culture in place and a psychologically safe work environment, your workers will feel safe to open up, raise issues, make suggestions and become involved in joint problem solving.

Overall, this shift will help make a manager’s jobs considerably easier because they won’t be the sole champion of wellbeing.

4 – Help connect your managers with their peers

Your managers need to know they have support too, when they feel demotivated or at a loss about how to proceed. It is essential they have a way to connect with their fellow line-managers for guidance, tips and insights.

It also important that their efforts are recognised and that they receive appreciation from business leaders. Showing your managers that they are valued will help them to stay motivated, engaged and energised in their role.

Ideally, you should try to offer them praise where their direct reports can see it. This will give them extra credibility in the eyes of their colleagues and teams and build their own confidence in their ability.

How can Trickle help managers?

Trickle supports your managers by bringing together employee engagement and wellbeing into one dynamic app. Trickle is equipped with all the tools they need to deliver the best possible support to their teams and in a way that does not add to their workload.

Here’s what Trickle can do:

  • MoodSense allows managers to take a quick temperature gauge of their people’s feelings, which can be in relation to changes in your organisation or anything else you feel is important.
  • Shout Abouts are a quick way to raise group awareness of anything new, from best practice to new policies, and can be used to send group praise and celebrate wins.
  • Fist Bumps can be used by anyone to send one-to-one praise and enable managers to easily show meaningful employee appreciation.
  • Champions Chat provides a dedicated real-time chat space that is private to Champions and Admins within your organisation, where colleagues are able to share best practices, seek insights and guidance from their cohorts, and can support managers in their support of their people.
  • Flares is an anonymous tool that employees can use to raise concerns or seek direct support for more sensitive issues 24/7.
  • Trickles are a way employees can share what’s on their mind for colleagues to see and respond to.

To find out more about how Trickle can help you support your managers, get in touch for more information or to book a short 20 minute demo. Alternatively you can trial Trickle absolutely  free for 30-days, simply visit: https://trickle.works/freetrial/

 

[1] https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/organization/our-insights/the-boss-factor-making-the-world-a-better-place-through-workplace-relationships

[2] https://www.glintinc.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Glint-Oct-2020-Data-Insights-Report.pdf

[3] https://www.thehrdirector.com/features/hr-in-business/three-ways-hr-can-help-line-managers-through-covid-19-and-beyond/

[4] https://www.pwc.co.uk/press-room/press-releases/uk-ceos-lead-the-charge-on-employee-wellbeing.html

[5] https://www.pwc.co.uk/press-room/press-releases/uk-ceos-lead-the-charge-on-employee-wellbeing.html

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