4 Common issues being faced by Managers in 2023

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Andy Raymond.



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It’s been tough to be a leader recently. Following the COVID-19 pandemic, the definition of work has changed for many people. From prioritising mental health and well-being to switching to hybrid working options, employees have different expectations from their jobs now. And with these added expectations, their managers and leaders are facing increased amounts of pressure to support them in these and other aspects of their working life. The toolkit that you once relied on to deliver individual results rarely equips those to succeed through others.

Occupying a managerial / leadership position is not the same thing as leading. To lead, you must be able to motivate, connect, and inspire a sense of ownership of shared objectives.

A recent study found that 34% of people have quit jobs because leaders were uncaring or uninspiring, 60% of employees felt emotionally detached and over 50% fear outdated leadership approaches to learning and development were holding them back. However, the study also found that only 50% of leaders felt equipped to support employees with these struggles. So, if being a better manager or leader in 2023 is at the top of your ‘to-do’ list, you’re not alone. 

Four of the common issues being faced by managers today are;

Adopting modern approaches to learning and development

Training is key to employee retention. There’s no doubt about that. Having a skilled and long-serving workforce can help a business grow. The longer the tenure of an employee at a business, the more productive their work becomes.

So, it is no surprise that managers who fail to adopt modern approaches to learning and development find themselves holding employees back. If employees can’t easily access the information that makes them better at their job, it impacts the whole business. A recent LinkedIn study has even shown that 94% of employees would stay longer with an employer who invested in their learning and development. Training employees to equip them with relevant skills also gives the business a greater chance to discover high-performing employees.

The solution: finding the time to invest in learning resources. Notice we said time, not budget. While expensive courses and webinars can certainly help, all that really matters is having information readily available to those who need it. Also, it is important for managers to invest time and recourses in their own training so that their teams benefit from their improved leadership.

Putting a spark into your leadership

Leading others requires being able to see how you think and act, and how your behaviour affects others. Passionate employees are not born, they are made through thoughtful leadership.

In the words of Microsoft’s CVP, Jared Spataro, “There’s no erasing the lived experience and lasting impact of the past couple of years. Empowering managers to adapt to new employee expectations helps set businesses up for long-term success.”

Helping employees make the transition from fully remote to office-based work is no easy feat. During this process, employees will find it harder to feel engaged at work if their manager comes across as uncaring or uninspiring.

When employee needs are fulfilled, they are engaged and perform at their peak ability. An inspiring manager will identify the needs of an employee three of which are intellectual and the other three emotional. The three emotional needs are Purpose, Intimacy, and Appreciation.

So, a manager must be flexible and supportive, as well as interested and positive. They must build a bridge between today’s tasks and a brighter tomorrow. In essence, you need to create a compelling cause for people to fight for.

It’s important to have clear goals for each employee and to help them work towards achieving these. One must be clear with what is expected of everyone on a day-to-day basis, as the one thing most hybrid and remote workers are struggling with, is knowing when and why to come into the office.

Focusing on addressing burnout

Research has also linked burnout to many negative physical and mental health outcomes, including coronary artery disease, sleep disturbances, depression, and anxiety, as well as  increased alcohol and drug use.

According to 84% of HR directors, employee burnout is a major issue for businesses. However, 49% of them feel ‘somewhat able’ or ‘unable’ to support those suffering from it. This needs to change. Employee burnout is not a new issue but with employee wellbeing becoming one of the key priorities for HR professionals everywhere, it is being addressed more often.

Pioneering research by psychologist Christina Maslach, found that burnout is a three-component syndrome that arises on the job. These symptoms are – Exhaustion - physical, cognitive, and emotional fatigue, Cynicism – the erosion of engagement, and Inefficacy - feelings of incompetence and a lack of achievement.

Situational factors are often the biggest contributors to burnout. Start by getting to the root of the problem if possible and finding out what is causing the issue. Managers should have regular conversations with employees about stresses, concerns, and burnout at work. It’s important that employees feel safe and comfortable talking about any problems they are facing in the workplace.

Some of the best ways to do that are:

  1. Make wellbeing part of your culture
  2. Design employee experience to reduce burnout
  3. Encourage teamwork and shared accountability
  4. Set role expectations and structure jobs

Easing the burden of meetings

Since the start of 2020, there has been an enormous increase in the average number of Microsoft TEAMS meetings being held weekly. This is not surprising considering the entire world shifted to digital forms of communication during the pandemic but becoming completely reliant on them has its downsides as well. Many employees are now struggling to keep up with this burden of video and in-person meetings. A Microsoft study recently showed that a lack of breaks between meetings increased stress levels and had a negative impact on brain function.

One rule of thumb that some business experts suggest is to spend no more than 20% of the time in recurring meetings. This equates to eight hours of meetings in a standard 40-hour business week. If you find employees spending a disproportionate amount of time in meetings, there are steps you can take as a manager to mitigate meeting overload.

  1. Determine which meetings are unnecessary
  2. Find alternatives to meetings – often a shorter conference call may be adequate
  3. Remember time zones
  4. Set “No Meeting” Times – times which must be avoided
  5. Set clear agenda, and circulate notes and expectations in advance
  6. Schedule meetings early in the week
  7. Aim for shorter meetings – avoid discussing issues that were not part of the agenda
  8. Send selective invites
  9. Know when to finish

In today’s candidate-short market, good leadership is more vital than ever to retain talent. Redline Executive’s mission is to enable high-technology companies to meet their strategic goals, in their search for leaders and managers who will flourish in a time of exceptional change. 

If you would like to find out more about how Redline Executive call help, contact Andy Raymond on +44 (0)1582 450054 or via email at ARaymond@RedlineExecutive.com.

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