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LHH managing director on how to be a better manager

By Jack Campbell | |5 minute read
Lhh Managing Director On How To Be A Better Manager

Recent years have seen increased stress on managers. Kincentric said that managers are feeling more pressure now than ever before.

With this in mind, here are some tips for being a successful manager, from LHH managing director James Mcilvena.

HR Leader: “How can we get employees and employers on the same page about pay?”


Mr Mcilvena: “It’s really an individual thing when you’re talking about pay. What employers can do is actually get smarter at making sure that their employees understand the full range, so the total benefits they get.”

“Salary is one component of it, but in a lot of instances, there is super above the super guarantee contribution. There is insurance, be that health insurance [or] income protection insurance. Things that employers do, if you’re doing these things, there are costs to the business. So, having a really good total discussion or even just information out there for your employers about total benefits package actually helps them compare apples with apples and not just talk about one number, which is the salary,” explained Mr Mcilvena.

“It’s never just a black-and-white answer when it comes to these things. It starts with the transparency and open communication.”

HR Leader: “It’s common for people to leave businesses because of managers. How can leaders build better relationships with staff?”

Mr Mcilvena: “Satisfaction is very much linked to some key things. One is understanding their workload; the other is their ability to maintain mental and physical health and wellbeing, their salary, their career progression and upskilling. And these are the areas where if you don’t get it right, they’re the principal drivers for people leaving.”

He continued: “Figuring out what’s going on from a workload perspective and then mental and physical wellbeing around the other considerations to communicate clearly around what you’re doing as an employer and how you’re taking care of your people.”

HR Leader: “How does the workplace experience differ [between] office workers and non-office workers?”

Mr Mcilvena: “One is sedentary work versus active work. [There are] benefits to [being] more active during the day. And I personally feel that depending on how your home set-up is, even if it was just incidental getting into the office and moving around, there was definitely more movement for those office space workers when they’re heading into the office.”

“Then, in a hybrid environment, particularly if people have more time work from home than what they do out of the office. Whereas the non-office-based roles have pretty much continued at the same levels of physical activity they always have.”

“Second is the connectivity, and so those roles that are actually done in person, you have people connecting on a personal level with their colleagues, and it’s amazing what that does for people who have a sense of loneliness and anxiety. It can just be exacerbated if they’re mostly working from [home] … Most people actually really like the people that they’re working with, and so the ability to actually meet them and connect with them has positive mental health impacts,” Mr Mcilvena outlined.

“I think that the balance is something that needs to be based on the employer, the individual, and the role they’re performing. But I think the commentary and what we’ve just discussed is the connectivity of individuals is a really important consideration for employers and individuals around what the right balance is for them.”

The transcript of this podcast episode, when quoted above, was slightly edited for publishing purposes. The full audio conversation with James Mcilvena on 6 February is below, and the original podcast article can be found here.

Jack Campbell

Jack Campbell

Jack is the editor at HR Leader.