People have now come to expect their managers to be part of their support system to help them improve their life experience not just employee experience. Moreover, hybrid working enables us to recruit from a wider talent pool, therefore managers are increasingly likely to be managing teams that are geographically dispersed.

This presents the following challenges

How do managers give their people the level of personalised attention that this new order requires? Employers who do not take account of the diverse needs of the workforce are likely to find it harder to recruit or retain staff.

If people open up more to their managers, and if people are given more freedom and control through hybrid working, this throws up issues of trust and psychological safety: people must be able to reveal concerns and speak freely to give of their best and be themselves, but they will only do this, if they do not fear this will rebound on them. People have become used to having more freedom and control, which requires managers to lessen control and increase trust. Psychological safety lies at the heart of diversity and inclusion and also is vital for innovation which requires you to be able to take a risk without fear of retribution.

How do we stand as managers in this emotional and complex environment? Firstly, managers must be able to look after themselves, if they are then able to look after others. Secondly, they must be able to adapt their management styles to suit different individuals and their disparate needs. These skills must be developed quickly. Coaching and mentoring are proven ways of accelerating learning. Having a coach or mentor can help managers manage themselves first and foremost and then develop highly adaptable management styles. Moreover, managers must, themselves, become great manager-coaches to support their people adequately at this time.

Contact us for our online toolkit on ‘Become a Great Manager-Coach’ that is suitable for self-managed learning or for group work, or supported learning.

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©Janice Caplan 2020