Culture club: how managers need to lead from the front

26 January 2016 -

“GreatLeader"

Insights spoke to Work Psychology Group’s Analise La-Band to discuss how managers need to be role models for driving a better workplace culture

Matt Scott

Managers need to do more to look after their employees and set a good example of how to live the company culture, that’s the opinion of Work Psychology Group senior consultant Analise La-Band.

“Managers are really important for improving the quality of their employees’ working lives for a number of reasons,” she says. “First and foremost, managers should be role models for organisational values and effective behaviour in the workplace – these are the people we expect to set a good example of professional behaviour and effective approaches for managing our working lives, including work-life balance.”

“We look to managers to guide us in how we conduct our role, so they also have that responsibility to be a source of support for employees while they are at work.”

La-Band says that empowering management styles, which are present in 34% of organisations according to the latest CMI Quality of Working Life survey, are key to improving staff wellbeing and reducing stress.


Read more about the CMI Quality of Working Life report

“If you feel empowered to carry out your work and make decisions yourself, you are likely to be much more satisfied and rewarded,” she says. “To know you have a manager who supports that approach can reinforce the sense of satisfaction in your role; this empowering style is likely to have a huge impact on how happy people feel at work and ultimately reduce levels of stress.”

With 52% of managers saying they have trust and confidence in their organisation’s senior managers (up from 43% in 2012), progress appears to be being made on this front – although it is still worrying that only around half of managers feel this way.

“All the things that we know are present with high satisfaction, such as autonomy, variety and opportunities for challenge and a developmental stretch, don’t necessarily seem to be present when there is a very authoritative management style where employees don’t feel able to express their own views,” La-Band says. “That can be quite limiting; staff may feel restricted and perhaps frustrated at the potential for missed opportunities to develop and grow.

“The more employees feel involved in their organisation, the more engaged they tend to be. Two-way communication, including seeking feedback from employees, is really important for building engagement, but it also tends to build trust as well.”

“The more satisfied employees are, generally we tend to see productivity improve,” La-Band adds. “Inevitably, high job satisfaction and reduced workplace stress means people are more confident and able to focus on delivery of their day-to-day tasks; these workplace environments are therefore generally more conducive to improved quality and efficiency.”

Find out more about the Quality of Working Life study and download the full report at www.managers.org.uk/qualityofworkinglife

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