As a manager you wear several hats. You’re a coach and a cheerleader, a team captain and a high performing individual as well as a communications expert and a diplomat. Over the last year many of my clients who manage teams have also been a shoulder to cry on, a source of resilience and motivation and an emotional support counsellor.
That’s as well as being a teacher, chef, house renovator and dog trainer. So if you manage a team and are feeling exhausted it’s no surprise. According to the 2021 state of the manager report, manager burnout increased 78% since the start of the pandemic.
As we emerge from lockdown, I believe we will shift back to working in offices and meeting colleagues in real life, but we’ll never return to this thing we’re calling ‘normal.’ Relationships have changed, team dynamics and culture have changed. We’re not the same people who entered lockdown a year ago.
Wellbeing is more than just a ‘nice to have.’
Workplace wellbeing has gained more importance, there’s been a shift from ‘a nice to have’ to a business priority. Many of my clients now have a wellbeing buddy system and mental health first aiders which are working well to provide support. I hope this support will be here to stay.
How we feel about our work, our colleagues and our managers is important for our wellbeing, but it’s also important for the success of the organisations that we work for.
When we feel safe to bring our whole selves to work we’re more productive, motivated and happy. That’s also when creativity flows. All these feelings are linked and flow in and out of each other. When we’re motivated we’re engaged and when we’re engaged we’re motivated. It also works the other way round. When we’re not happy or motivated we’re least engaged and less productive.
That’s why if you’re a manager, your role is so important and also potentially exhausting.
As a manager you’re responsible for driving business outcomes by ensuring your team is motivated, empowered to work on the right priorities that are aligned to their interests and strengths, and have the support required to deliver their best work.
An employee’s relationship with their direct manager has a strong influence on their ability to do their best work. You make a big impact in how your team feel in terms of opportunities to do meaningful work and to learn and how they feel about their working life. I’m not saying this about you, but in my experience people tend to leave bad managers rather than bad jobs or bad organisations.
How do managers successfully wear all the hats?
Give your team time, space and permission to learn. When times are tough learning and development budgets are often the first to get cut. Find ways to help your team learn, whether that’s’ responsibilities to work on new projects, formal training, or encouraging them to find a mentor. Help them focus on the skills they need right now.
When LinkedIn Learning recently asked learning and development specialists to identify the most important current skills, it looked like this.
- Resilience and adaptability
- Technology skills/digital fluency
- Communication across remote or distributed teams
- Emotional intelligence
- Cross-functional collaboration
I’ve got three pieces of good news for you.
First, according to the 2021 state of the manager report, employees who see good opportunities to learn and grow are 2.9x more likely to be engaged compared to those who don’t see good opportunities to learn and grow. And when people are engaged they stay with their organisation longer. (Over 3x more likely to say they will probably be with their company in two year’s time according to the report)
Second, according to Crystal Lim Lang, author of Deep Human, ‘Learning is a form of self-care. The happiest people in the world are the ones who are the most engaged and curious’
So providing your employees with learning opportunities not only up-skills them to perform better, it motivates them to stay longer and it helps to meet their wellbeing needs.
Third, four of the five most important current skills listed are human skills, they get called ‘soft skills’ yet they’re the critical skills needed to be successful in any role. The good news is that these soft skills are all readily accessible in the Lucidity Network.
The Lucidity Network is for managers who want to do a good job of wearing all the hats for their team, help them take charge of their learning and development and support their team to be happy and more productive in their working life.
When you join the Lucidity Network you get access to practical content, including webinars and training packs, brilliant people who are experts in topics that will help you find your success. We’ve training materials on over ‘soft skills’ 30 topics in the learning vault including; listening skills, how to be productive, resilience and wellbeing, strategic thinking, storytelling, adapting and learning from failure, having difficult conversations, managing up and improving your memory.
The 2021 stare of the manager report combines insights from 3.4 million employee engagement surveys primarily conducted in 2020 on the Glint Platform with LinkedIn behavioural and survey data and expert interviews to deliver data-driven recommendations. You can download your copy here.