Over the last few years, managers have been under more pressure than ever to perform at a high level because of the shift from in-office to remote and hybrid work, shrinking budgets, and increased workloads. Gartner conducted a study on this topic and found that 60 percent of HR respondents believe supporting managers is a top priority this year for those reasons. Managers provide leadership and purpose to their teams; without it, their teams won’t be engaged and productive and are more likely to leave the organization. However, managers can’t support their teams if they don’t have support themselves. One way your organization can show support for managers is to ease some of the pressure they face with collaboration tools. Supported managers are more engaged, innovative, creative, and satisfied in their roles, which directly translates to how their team performs and your business operates.
Supporting your managers today can help improve team connection, and overall organizational connection tomorrow. If you don’t support your managers, they’ll lack the confidence necessary to lead their teams, causing decreased productivity and morale. This blog will explain the importance of supporting managers, some of the challenges they face, and what solutions are available.
Why Is Supporting Managers Important?
Quality management is vital to a successful workplace, and supporting managers has many benefits for your business. An effective manager will increase employee productivity and morale and cultivate a positive work environment, which is more important than ever today as our workplaces shift away from the office and our schedules are not aligned. Harvard Business Review found that 62 percent of employees who reported to effective managers were willing to give extra effort in their respective roles. Managers are the leaders of their workplace, and they model the qualities they want to see in their employees.
Supporting managers is vital. If they don’t feel supported, it could negatively impact the employees they manage. A common quote you’ve likely heard is “employees don’t quit jobs; they quit managers,” which is backed up by a Gallup study. One in two employees cites a bad manager as the number one reason they quit their jobs, demonstrating the importance of good management and its role in retaining top talent in your organization and reducing turnover. This creates more stability for your team and boosts their engagement and morale.
Manager support is more critical than ever during these volatile and unpredictable labor markets, but what are some of the challenges managers face in today’s workplace?
What Challenges Do Managers Face in the Modern Workplace?
Managers have the power to lead their teams to success. The satisfaction of watching their teams grow both personally and professionally is a magnificent professional achievement. However, it’s not all smooth sailing. When you have the burden of developing employees and team success, there are some challenges they’ll face along the way. We’ll discuss some of these below.
Effective communication in the workplace is often a challenge for some managers to overcome. As the modern workforce becomes less centralized and teams work on different schedules, this obstacle has become magnified. A study from LinkedIn found that 86 percent of employees and managers cite poor communication as one of the primary failures in the workplace. Good internal communication improves employee productivity, retention, trust, and employee engagement, and high-performing teams that communicate well increase productivity by up to 25 percent. Miscommunication between managers and employees can impact your business’s bottom line and could end up costing thousands of dollars. Improving team communication is critical and it can be achieved by supporting managers with the right business communication tools.
Tracking and Managing Team Productivity
All successful organizations have one thing in common – their employees are productive. Productive companies have 30 to 50 percent higher operating margins than their less productive counterparts but tracking and managing team productivity to achieve business objectives is one of the most common challenges managers face today. It has become even more difficult because of remote and hybrid work and teams working with different setups, habits, and in various time zones. Implementing adequate tools to track and manage team productivity is essential to increase your operating margins and provide manager support.
Inadequate technology is no longer an option – providing up-to-date technology is a matter of business survival. As a business leader, you must equip your managers with effective collaboration tools. These can enable employee retention, increased efficiency, and decreased costs, helping to alleviate pressure on managers and helping them lead. With the exponential changes we’ve endured over the past several years, thriving organizations have embraced a digital business model and adopted modern business tools that offer file sharing, video conferencing, and enterprise chat tools. Without this technology, managers will have trouble communicating, tracking, and managing team productivity and performing their daily functions. Inadequate technology is also responsible for failed collaboration, poor employee experience, and low team morale.
Poor Company Culture
When employees don’t feel connected to the rest of the workplace, it can lead to a decrease in motivation, reduced performance, and place increased pressure on your management. When teams align with your company culture and feel that they’re part of something bigger, they’ll be more confident and trusting. A thriving company culture will also lead to improved morale, productivity, creativity and innovation, and overall employee satisfaction and give your managers the support they need to lead.
Effects of Not Supporting Managers
A lack of manager support can produce lasting damage to your employees and the organization as a whole. One of the first trends you might endure is an increase in employee sick leave, which could signify poor mental and physical well-being, causing decreased productivity for your business and affecting your bottom line.
High manager and employee turnover is the most glaring and obvious impact of not supporting management and its effects on the company. High turnover rates have immediate and often severe consequences for your business, including the loss of valuable knowledge and experience and reduced morale among employees that stay with the team. High turnover also has adverse effects on small businesses with limited resources. Some studies show that every time a business replaces a salaried employee, it costs six to nine months’ salary. Recruiting and training are expensive, and focusing on employee retention by helping managers is vital.
Without adequate support for your managers, it will translate into low morale and a reduction in productivity, which can also affect creativity and innovation. It’s challenging to have a high level of enthusiasm when you aren’t provided adequate business tools, have a poor company culture, or feel like you have an integral role in the organization. Even if they love what they do, they’ll feel deflated, and you risk losing your best employees.
Conversely, managers that are supported provide a spark to your organization that can’t be overstated. When you invest in them and equip them with the proper collaboration tools to do their job, you’ll notice immediate benefits.
How Can You Support Managers?
As a business leader, you can empathize with your management team. Being an excellent manager is demanding because it requires balancing the human aspect and overseeing various personalities, as well as organizing, planning, and executing team goals to meet company objectives. It begs the question – how can you better support your managers?
- Ask what they need to improve employee experience: Your managers will know their voices are heard and feel appreciated if you ask what they need to improve employee experience and feel supported in their role. A report from MDA training found that 79 percent of employees cite a “lack of appreciation” as a reason for leaving their roles. You can demonstrate your support by sending out surveys and asking what HR can do to assist them and what issues they and their teams are currently facing. Not only are you up to date on what they’re encountering daily, but you’ll also understand what’s needed to keep them productive and achieve team success. Keep in mind that you must honor their requests to sustain those relationships.
- Invest in their professional growth: The same report from MDA Training found that 58 percent of managers surveyed have not received formal leadership training. When these skills are absent, and you don’t provide your managers the education to be successful, you’re setting them up to become demotivated and quit their job. Equipping your managers with the knowledge they need to believe in themselves will give them the confidence to tackle challenges that come with the job, improve their productivity, and effectively lead the team(s) they manage.
- Recognize their contributions: The power of praise is free. Highly engaged managers and their teams are more productive and profitable than ones whose contributions aren’t recognized. Organizations with employee recognition strategies are 48 percent more likely to have high employee engagement rates, and 63 percent of those recognized are unlikely to seek a new job. A simple gesture of recognizing your manager’s contributions will translate into them being more engaged and putting more energy into their work. This will equate to improved performance, more satisfaction in their role and wanting to remain with your company long-term, which all positively impacts your bottom line. It can be as simple as sending a shout-out via Slack or a company-wide email about their achievements. Again, it costs the company nothing and can mean everything to the employee.
- Invest in modern technology tools: Technology has been a vital asset in how modern businesses communicate and collaborate. Remote and hybrid work has completely changed how organizations collaborate, and investing in modern technology tools will help your managers feel supported. They can hold meetings remotely with video-conferencing technology and work on shared documents with cloud-based file-sharing tools that work in real-time and keep track of changes. Not only will this improve efficiency, but it’ll lead to an increase in productivity, automate repetitive processes, save time, and drive better decision-making, an essential component of a manager’s role.
- Implement a positive company culture: Implementing a positive company culture is essential for long-term success because it increases manager and employee experience, which directly improves productivity, engagement, and results in a positive image for the public. Gartner reported that 68 percent of executive teams are reevaluating their company’s culture because it creates a positive atmosphere and guides teams from the top down, whether remote, hybrid, or full-time in-office workers. You can help your manager by advancing your mission, vision, and goals, establishing company values, following those values, and hiring talent that shares these values.
Failing to support your managers can lead to adverse effects in the workplace, which we’ll discuss below.
Communication and Collaboration Tools Support Managers: Download Our eBook
Managers need praise for their work to boost confidence and enjoyment in the workplace. Your organization could face unfathomable consequences if you don’t back your managers, such as high turnover, low team morale, and negative public image, to name a few. Not only will you endure challenges with your existing staff, but it will also make it harder to attract new talent. Fortunately, solutions to remedy these issues exist, and it’s time to invest in your future and show your managers your support by providing them with adequate tools to simplify their workflows, reduce stress, improve communication, and make them more efficient.
Implementing a cloud-based business communications system is one of the most effective methods of improving collaboration, engagement, decision-making, and overall team performance, all of which positively impact your managers. If you’re ready to invest in your team’s future, and cut costs in the process, learn more about how a cloud-based business phone system can help you better support your managers by downloading your free copy of our eBook, The Top 5 Reasons to Move Your Business Phone System to the Cloud.