Insights That Can Enhance Your Team

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Manager burnout is on the rise post COVID-19. Become a better manager for yourself and your team with these 4 key insights into management practices.

When looking for the right candidate to fill your open position there are often key characteristics that you should look for. Behavioral Assessments such as Myers Briggs, Enneagram, and Strengths Finder, have risen to popularity in determining one’s strengths and weaknesses. You can also utilize these behavioral assessments within your hiring process to ensure the candidate will be a good fit within your organization and company culture. 

1. Manager Burnout is On the Rise Post COVID-19 

The COVID-19 pandemic has created an additional layer of stress for employees. It’s done the same for business leaders and managers, too.

Dealing with the shift to remote work and the changing dynamics of the team environment, increasing workloads are just a few of the challenges that teams have overcome. Uncertainty over job stability at all levels of organizations certainly created stress for many teams and managers alike. It’s no wonder that 80% of workers report being burned out. One out of four workers says they are nearly always dealing with burnout on the job.

Vaile Wright, Senior Director of Healthcare Innovation at the American Psychological Association (APA) told Bloomberg that people are struggling and that the impact may be long-lasting. She says even when workers return to the workplace, they often aren’t coping well. They may be less present at work, she said. They’re more likely to be less productive, not show up, or even quit.

While feeling some of the same stresses, managers need to rise above it and help coach their teams to move past the disengagement. 

Manager Insights for Dealing with Burnout

Burnout can take a mental, emotional, and physical toll on your well-being. As a manager, you’re not going to be able to help your team members deal with burnout if you aren’t taking care of yourself.

Your team will pick up on the stress, too, and that can amplify their burnout. Here are some insights to deal with burnout.

  • Prioritize your health: Taking care of yourself can be difficult when you’re trying to help team members deal with burnout, but it’s not a luxury you can afford to put off for later. Eating healthy, exercising, and getting a good night’s sleep can make a huge difference in dealing with burnout.
  • Give yourself a break: When you’re under tremendous stress, it’s easy to feel like you’re failing. Take time to celebrate the victories over the past year. Nothing about the past year has been ordinary, so expecting extraordinary results off the bat is unrealistic.
  • Take frequent breaks: Speaking of breaks, take them regularly. Research shows that frequent breaks — as frequently as every hour — can dramatically improve productivity and focus while reducing workplace stress. When you take a break, you’re also letting your team know it’s OK to clear your mind and refocus in the work environment.
  • Revisit the mission: Often, job-related burnout occurs when you no longer connect the work with the mission. Think of why you do what you do, why it’s important to your business, why it’s important to your customers, and how things relate to your company culture.
  • Practice optimism: When you’re burned out, it can be easy to express negativity or even turn a workplace into a hostile work environment. Make a conscious effort to look for optimistic signs to help promote a positive work environment.
  • Show appreciation: When your mother told you to count your blessings, she was showing some amazing leadership insight. Not only does showing appreciation for your team members help retain top talent, but it helps you remember good things are happening around you.

Some psychologists suggest that COVID-related stress has created a generation of people suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). It’s going to take some time for all of us to recover.

2. What Motivates Managers Has Shifted

While some praise can go a long way, what motivates managers these days has shifted. Managers today are more interested in building trust, strengthening their relationships with colleagues, customers, and clients, and being challenged.

Each of these areas can help a manager to excel. As part of any training and development for managers, it’s important to recognize these motivations and the impact they can have on management development.

Like anyone in the workplace, managers want to grow and see how what they’re doing can help them achieve a growth trajectory in their organization or their industry.

Motivation for managers and team members relies on getting external and internal motivation right.

Managing External Motivations

We all know the importance of a healthy work environment. Part of developing a healthy work environment will be developing a reward system that impacts external motivations.

  • Measure carefully: There’s a saying in management circles: you can’t manage what you can’t measure. It’s absolutely true. However, you have to measure the right things. Make sure performance is being measured against metrics that are within an employee’s control.
  • Compensate fairly: No matter what anyone says, compensation is an important part of motivation. Managers and team members must feel they are fairly compensated for their work. When people believe they are underpaid, they often look for jobs elsewhere.
  • Promote based on performance: Avoid office politics and internal alliances. Rewards should follow results, so promote based on performance.

Managing Internal Motivations

External motivations are essential, but you also need to address the internal motivations that go beyond pay and performance. These internal motivations provide managers and team members with a reason to perform work at a higher level.

  • Connect work to mission: Managers need to know how their role contributes to the overall organization’s success.
  • Don’t micromanage: Allow managers to investigate problems and develop their own solutions. This gives them a greater sense of accomplishment and also helps as part of their manager training and development.
  • Provide consistent feedback: Managers want to grow and learn. Constructive feedback helps managers understand what they need to do to improve. An anonymous peer-reviewing process can help create a flow of constructive criticism in a team and deliver important manager insights.
  • Demonstrate interest: When employees at any level know their supervisors are vested in their success and looking for ways to advance their careers, it creates a more positive work environment all around.
  • Communicate often: You can’t overemphasize the importance of regular communication. With today’s remote and semi-rote work environments, this has become more difficult, but it’s never been more important.

3. Teams Are Wanting a Manager That Values Training and Education

Creating learning and development opportunities for the team can benefit everyone involved — starting with the manager.

Learning opportunities can help close skills gaps within teams and give everyone a chance to grow. Three-quarters of employees say an investment by their company in their career growth is important. Training and development are especially important when you realize that 74% of employees say they do not believe they have reached their full potential in the workplace.

Growth is an important element of a positive workplace culture. When team members see how development opportunities can lead to a growth path and a successful career, they are more engaged and tend to stick around longer.

Show Training Value

Teams want a manager that values training and education in the workplace. For managers, this means more than just providing training opportunities.

  • Show active support: Talk positively about training opportunities and how they can lead to growth within the team. Training should be seen as a benefit.
  • Discuss learnings: One of the best ways to get lessons to stick is by continuing to discuss what’s been learned during training and applying it to real-life situations outside of the classroom.
  • Provide opportunities: Provide managers and team members with further opportunities to showcase what they’ve learned.
  • Take part: Nothing lets team members know that you take training and development seriously as when you take part yourself. Learn alongside team members.

Training and development can set the stage for team building. When everybody is in it together, it can help create a more positive workplace culture.

4. The More Engaged the Manager, the More Engaged the Team

Less than a third of workers are engaged in their jobs, according to Gallup.

Let that statistic sink in for a bit.

Even pre-COVID, employee engagement was less than 33% — and that was a record at the time.

When the manager is engaged, however, the team performs better. Research shows that managers are responsible for as much as 70% of the variance in employee engagement. Building a healthy work environment requires business leadership from engaged managers.

Managers have the power to make or break the members of their teams depending on their management styles and how they ultimately add value to their teams.

For managers, this means being engaged in the work and in the team.

  • Aligned with the mission: Managers need to have a firm grasp on the organization’s mission and be able to connect it to the work. When tasks are aligned with business objectives in a clear manner, productivity increases.
  • Provide business leadership: There’s a difference between managing and leading. Managers create plans and strategies. Leaders inspire and motivate those around them. While managers tend to focus on task completion, leaders look towards goals. Great managers are also great leaders.
  • Active Listening: Be fully present in conversations, especially when it’s about mission-critical work. Managers need to understand employee concerns and not just look for opportunities to give their take on a matter.
  • Proactive problem solving: Managers need to take the time to understand employee problems and help develop solutions. When a manager solves a problem for employees before someone complains about it, it demonstrates that the manager is looking out for the team.
  • Coaching: Engaged managers don’t just sit back and relax even in high-performing teams. It takes proactive coaching to help employees grow and feel valued.

Often, managers make the mistake of only coaching underperformers in the hopes of getting them up to minimal standards. While there are some exceptions, in most cases all this does is create mediocre employees. Working with poor performers can easily detract from working with high-potential employees, which can have a significantly bigger impact on any organization.

Engaged managers create more engaged team members and a stronger company culture.

Key Takeaways

Business leaders need to understand these four manager insights to develop a strong company culture.

  1. Recognize manager and team burnout
    Take care of yourself and your team.
  2. Understand what motivates managers and employees.
    Manage the external and internal motivations that drive performance.
  3. Provide training and development
    Invest in opportunities for managers and team members to grow.
  4. Increase engagement
    Building a healthy work environment means managers and team members are fully engaged in an organization’s mission.

Building a healthy work environment benefits managers and team members. It also provides a platform for the growth and success of the company overall.

Companies with a highly engaged workforce are 21% more profitable on average. You can take that to the bank.

How Can We Help You?

COVID-19 taught us that growth is not inherently linear. It’s not always easy to dive into work and manage a team in order to create a healthier and more productive work environment for all. 

At PeopleSuite, we work with a variety of companies from various industries to deliver top talent and provide insight into best practices for managers and teams alike. With many years of experience in the talent search industry, we take the time to truly understand your business from the inside out and deliver solutions that enhance your teams’ overall performance. Connect with one of our industry experts and learn more about the value PeopleSuite can bring to your organization.

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