From this article you will learn:
- what areas Polish managers in particular are dealing with today,
- what challenges the new times pose to them,
- what competencies they should have today,
- what problems they face and how the company can support them.
A report by House of Skills, which surveyed Polish managers in 2021/2022, found that it currently takes them the most time and energy to build an atmosphere of trust among the team (33 percent), and the need to motivate employees was also highly rated at 27 percent . No wonder – both were undermined in the troubled times of the pandemic. The care for these areas has been passed on to the managers. So let’s take a look at the challenges that recent years have presented to them and the new skills they need to acquire today.
The most difficult tasks of today’s managers
1. Rethinking communication
Generation Z is entering the labour market, expecting simple and specific messages. What’s more, it interacts with the other generations in an entirely new hybrid work environment (you can read more about ways to integrate teams in current reality HERE). Today’s reality actually makes rethinking communication a necessity for managers. Fortunately, they themselves recognise the importance of transparency in communication. They stress that in times of crisis and unpredictability, honesty and clarity should become the pillars of managerial authority .
2. A new way to motivate
Studies have shown that managers today are unlikely to include motivation in their long-term plans . Very often they view the issue from a material perspective, while their teams are already demanding other solutions. For example, the youngest generation of employees highly values access to new knowledge, reliable feedback or solutions that build their mental well-being (you can read more about generation Z HERE).
Also, the general workforce today expects being motivated through increased support for physical activity and healthy lifestyles, and the provision of mental support (48 percent) .
It may therefore turn out that the benefits allowing for taking care of well-being will be – in a broader perspective – a stronger incentive than bonuses only. Fortunately, this is slowly being recognised by managers themselves, and even offering to participate in training (39 percent of respondents) ranks very high on the list of activities with respect to taking care of the team .
3. The science of inclusivity
Inclusivity is a trend that is impossible to miss when following the latest reports on the activities of global companies. However, research shows that a sizable portion of managers today do not see the power of diversity and building an inclusive work culture . Such an approach can unfortunately have a negative impact not only on the teams, but also on the company’s overall image, especially among talent from the younger generation.
4. Focus on the psyche
This issue has already been raised even by the WHO . Fortunately, the trend has clearly not been overlooked by Polish managers and the mental well-being of employees is definitely on their agenda. The problem, however, is that when asked if and what measures they take to ensure the right mental condition of employees, the most common answer was “I don’t know” (41 percent) . This means that they need training in this regard, provided by organisations.
5. Distributed teams
Today’s managers also face challenges related to remote work. Team building in the new environment alone is an extremely complicated issue. Managers also raise the issue of employee onboarding (27 percent among remote managers vs. 13 percent of the total). Remote managers are also more likely than on-site managers to have trouble engaging teams and getting them to meet goals (35 percent vs. 23 percent among on-site managers). 
How can the company help managers?
As can be seen, various difficulties are piling up before managers, such as the need to nimbly adapt the management style to changing conditions and to constantly acquire new competencies. This is a huge burden for people who were already considered a particularly stressed group.
So what can a company do for its managers?
- Take care of their psyche
According to the House of Skills survey, only 10 percent of managers describe their mental condition as bad, while 14 percent say they have no problems in this area at all. However, the report’s authors emphasise that when data on the general population is taken into account, the figures seem overly optimistic. This is reflected, for instance, by a study in a group of novice managers, only 3 percent of whom reported good mental health .
The concerns of the report’s authors are confirmed, for example, by an American study by Slack, a company known for its software that supports companies in remote work, among other things. According to the study, as many as 43 percent of middle-rank managers surveyed said they experience burnout as a result of chronic stress in the workplace. This is more than in other groups of workers .
The solution: so it’s worthwhile to give executives special care in this area. How? For example through access to experts (psychologists), but also courses and applications, which the MultiLife benefit has a wide range of.
- Remember about relaxation
Managers are a professional group that spends far too little time on rest and relaxation . They are professionally exposed to what is known as overload. It is a condition characterised by, among other things, using excess time for work and consciously limiting rest .
In the U.S. and Europe, more and more companies are offering their employees to take mindfulness classes as part of their workplace stress relief programmes. All because mindfulness has proven to be an extremely effective method of combating stress.
Why is it so important? It turns out that people who train mindfulness perform better in a team, resolve conflicts, concentrate and communicate more easily, and effectively make good decisions .All of these issues overlap with the aforementioned challenges of modern management.
- Take care of their health
Constant exposure to stress is a real curse for executives. All the more so because the tension is followed by numerous bodily responses. They may include, for example, musculoskeletal pain, neck pain, back pain or problems with clenched jaws. Experts stress that these are the first and only the less serious warning signs .
In addition, in the case of managers, the occurrence of so-called weekend neurosis is also common. It is a condition characterised by anxiety and other ailments appearing in leisure time .
This causes a real vicious circle – because while the cure for stress is relaxation, such a person is simply unable to achieve it. Ultimately, other stress-induced diseases may also occur, led by cardiovascular problems.
The solution: of course, prevention is better than cure, but it is also worth putting the tools for the latter in the hands of managers. The authors of modern benefits thought of this. The services available as part of MultiLife include Diagnostyka – with useful laboratory test packages – or Telemedi – with an option for quick online medical consultations.
Finally, a piece of advice, perhaps trivial, but often forgotten – it’s a good idea to treat managers... like people. If we pass on to them the care for employee well-being, it is worth asking ourselves the question – who will take care of the well-being of this extremely important pillar of the company. Stress among employees is a growing problem. Let’s not forget that its amount often increases with each successive rung of the corporate ladder.
- Raport Benefit Systems „Zmęczeni, obojętni, niezaangażowani. Postpandemiczne potrzeby pracowników”, 2022.
- https://futureforum.com/research/pulse-report-fall-2022-executives-feel-strain-leading-in-new-normal/ - cytat za: https://businessinsider.com.pl/twoje-pieniadze/praca/twoj-menedzer-jest-jeszcze-bardziej-wypalony-niz-ty/rvgysrg.