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Five things managers must now do differently

Anna Rasmussen, CEO and Founder - OpenBlend

Lockdown may be gradually coming to an end, but remote working is here to stay. It’s going to create a whole new set of demands for managers, and many will see their roles change dramatically in the near future.

Those businesses who have already moved to a people-centric approach will be at an advantage, with new responsibilities placing individual needs at the heart of management structure. So, what exactly is going to change for managers – and how can they prepare for it?

Managers need to manage an adjusted and people centric workforce

The role of a manager will be less about looking over shoulders and checking in on employees, and more about getting the best out of individuals, for better overall engagement and productivity.

This has been a growing trend over recent years, and people-centric business have already started this shift. But for those who haven’t, it could be something of a shock to their managers, especially if their new role isn’t clearly defined. Businesses will need to support managers with a structure that enables them to fulfil this role successfully.

They’ll be fundamental to creating an experience

Businesses put a lot of thought, effort and funding into creating an employee experience that attracts and maintains talent. But for some, this experience is very much grounded in the office environment: creating a space that is comfortable, productive and inspiring, and bringing people together in social areas.

With more employees working remotely, this experience will need to be communicated differently, and managers will hold the key to doing so successfully. They will need to be the link between the business and their organisation, communicating culture, values and character to keep teams connected.

They’ll need to see the whole person, not just their work persona

This situation has given us all a new appreciation of our colleagues’ individual circumstances, and this has to be maintained after lockdown is over.

Managers will need to understand who people really are, not just who they present at work, and build that into their management approach. Most workplaces are long past the days of ‘clock in, clock out’. People’s work and personal lives are blending more than ever. Understanding this, and helping people to use this to their advantage, is essential to creating a more engaged, productive workforce, whatever the circumstances.

Managers will need to talk more – and make it count

 The term people-centric gets bandied about a lot, but a truly people-first approach needs to go beyond simply ‘talk more’. Those conversations need to count.

Managers need the confidence to ask the right questions and need to feel empowered to convert those conversations into actions. Confidence, clarity and actions that make a difference are essential for any effective conversation, but it’s particularly important with remote workforces, where those day to day collaborations are more difficult.

 

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