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Managers need support: It’s time to rethink the role

By Jack Campbell | |5 minute read
Managers Need Support It S Time To Rethink The Role

Managers have been through turmoil in the last few years. Added pressures can take their toll, and without strong leadership, businesses can crumble.

The pandemic was especially hard on managers. As the workforce went through this uneasy period, managers were left to fend for themselves and rethink strategies with remote and hybrid working taking over.

Recently, talent shortages have further plagued these leaders, and many were left without skilled workers, forcing them to pick up the pieces to continue driving productivity.


Through these changes, employees have become more reliant on their managers, leaving further responsibility on their shoulders. According to Managers Are Cracking - and More Training Won’t Help by Gartner, 77 per cent of employees said it has become more important than ever to receive support from their manager. But who’s supporting them?

The report also revealed that managerial responsibilities have doubled, leaving many disorganised and strained. In fact, 54 per cent of managers reported suffering from fatigue and stress due to their work.

Conflicting responsibilities are compounding this, with 45 per cent forced to spend more time on managing projects than managing people. This is leaving employees in the dark, with only half of workers confident in their manager’s ability to lead their team.

Effective management should not be understated. Gartner revealed that employees working under solid managers are 15.4 times more likely to be high performers and are 13.4 per cent more engaged.

Attraction and retention also benefit, with employees 3.2 times more likely to stay with their company and reporting 12.5 per cent better wellbeing.

A typical approach to these issues would be to invest in the skills development of managers. However, Gartner said this isn’t working, with just 25 per cent of managers claiming their organisation’s skills development programs are effective. Similarly, only 23 per cent of HR leaders believe their organisation’s manager development is worthwhile.

So, what is effective in dealing with these issues? Gartner said skills isn’t the area that needs tweaking, it’s the job itself.

The report found that increasing skills only had a 4 per cent increase in manager capability. Meanwhile, improving the job manageability for leaders had a 21 per cent increase in effectiveness.

Rethinking the role of managers and altering their responsibilities can help to get the most out of them and, in turn, get the most out of employees.

Four ways to do this, and the impact it had on respondents, as listed by Gartner, are:

  1. Reset role expectations: 1.4 times better job manageability
  2. Rebuild manager pipeline: 2.3 times better job manageability
  3. Rewire manager habits: 71 per cent better job manageability
  4. Remove process hurdles: 1.4 times better job manageability

Building short-, medium-, and long-term plans can help to initiate this change. Adhering to these three processes will help:

  1. Diagnose current state
  2. Develop your plan
  3. Execute and drive change
Jack Campbell

Jack Campbell

Jack is the editor at HR Leader.