My Manager - How employees feel about and communicate with their direct manager
The quality of direct line management really impacts engagement, after all the latest stats suggest that 7 out of 10 people leave their manager and not their organisation.
Great managers should be selling the direction and vision of the organisation, helping others see how their role impacts the bigger picture, ultimately influencing the factor My Company. Good Managers recognise the importance of growing and developing their people, which means the My Manager factor also has a significant impact on the factor Personal Growth.
When it comes to My Team, great managers build great teams, but world class managers also focus on connecting teams throughout the organisation. Managers can heavily influence the Wellbeing factor by helping to positively restore a work/life balance, managing employee workload and recognising that employees have a life outside of work
LHP aspires to be a net zero organisation and has developed an ESG strategy with a carbon plan that sets out how this can be achieved. This strategy weaves together key examples of the high-level actions it will take to move towards net Zero, which are already built into a range of key strategies.
The introduction of a weekly Executive Management Team (ELT) vlog is helping to raise the visibility of LHP’s senior team, which is supported by Spotlight (a monthly staff ezine) and a new, much-improved intranet (Basecamp), which offers a social media engagement tool and instant staff recognition module.
All managers have scheduled 1-2-1s with their own line manager and have designated times for catch-ups as groups – both formal and informal. Coaching is available through an external agency and a two-part Management Development Programme is in place for everyone with a line management responsibility. For senior managers, a separate, in-house programme has been developed.
Recognising the challenges facing the fundraising initiatives of charities during the pandemic, the organisation gave each of its sites a budget of £10,000 and invited staff to recommend local charities to benefit from a proportion of the funds. In total £50,000 was donated to charities across the South West of England.
An internal Future Leaders Programme has seen the organisation create its own bespoke management training programme, designed to identify, and develop, future managers. Offering a unique training package tailored to the individual, the programme teaches the essential skills required to be a successful manager and includes project work across the business.
Throughout the pandemic the organisation provided helpful tools on mental and physical wellbeing, managing mental health during coronavirus, adjusting to working from home, and maintaining a good work/life balance. It also ran a photo competition to encourage employees to get outside to take daily exercise and share pictures of their local area.
The Senior Management Team have weekly meetings where leaders discuss, strategise, and plan ideas for implementation. This was especially useful during the pandemic, where leaders took account of staff feedback to ensure the organisation stayed connected and communicated key messages, objectives, and priorities to each team/department.Monthly company update meetings have also been implemented.
Managers attended the Association for Coaching’s ‘RecognisedLeader as Coach Course’ in May 2021, a three-day course as part of a people development project to further enhance coaching and feedback skills, to have a group experience, and to look at ways of working of the Professional CoachingBodies. Managers are also undergoing mental health awareness training.
To encourage staff to talk and support each other, the organisation’s ‘We Care’ channel was used to facilitate discussions to help those struggling or feeling alone. Email check-ins and advice on looking after wellbeing were sent out to employees, encouraging them to look after themselves with regular nudges and reminders.
To ensure that colleagues are respected and appreciated in all that they do, GA Pet Food Partners’ managers demonstrate their commitment to the company’s core values by acknowledging each and every role as vital in the organisation and ensuring colleagues feel valued for their work and contributions.
Despite a number of training sessions having to be cancelled due to the pandemic, many internal training sessions were moved online, so that managers and leaders could receive the vital skills and training to allow them to effectively manage and support their teams through difficult and challenging times.
Employees have access to a full-time Occupational HealthSpecialist, as well as a counsellor to support colleagues with their mental health.To reward hard work, as well as fulfil its commitment to enriching colleagues’ lives, GA organises team bonding events, such as an annual family fun day, sports teams, and days out.
To help young people, mostly from disadvantaged and marginalised communities, get excited about careers in the tech industry, IPI held an afterschool club in partnership with The Mentoring Lab, a black-led youth organisation based in and around Hackney, London. The 10-week programme saw IPI employees lead mentoring sessions on subjects such as building a website, digital marketing and more.
People, purpose, and values are engrained in the company culture at IPI. Performance reviews are based on the newly launched values of ‘We Succeed Together’, ‘We Aim Higher’, ‘We Are Always Evolving’ and ‘We Own It’, to ensure that they are front and centre of everyone’s focus. Leaders praise individuals for demonstrating values during a weekly call, and quarterly focus groups are held with employees to address where the company could improve.
To enable managers to have the resources they need to deal with increased times of uncertainty, IPI carried out a resilience ‘Skill Pill’. The Skill Pill comprised monthly educational sessions on a variety of topics, which provided guidance on what managers needed to do to support their teams. These included how to increase communication and hold informal check-ins.
One of the organisation’s strategic goals is to become paperless and processes and systems are continually improved to make this a reality. A Millie group dedicated to the environment helps share best practice in the areas of food waste and reducing plastics use. When employees successfully complete an in-house talent programme, a tree is planted in their name.
The Senior Leadership Team are role models for the organisation’s values. They are held to account by the ‘Millennium Voice Network’ – a group of 15 people representative of the organisation that meet regularly and set the agenda for challenging, questioning, and scrutinising decision making on behalf of all employees.
Recognising the importance of supporting its managers during the pandemic, a stress and wellness coach was introduced to help recognise signs of stress and burnout. Offering practical guidance, managers learnt methods to relax, refocus and refresh - all of which they could share with their teams. A dedicated news channel was also established for managerial support.
Senior leaders made sure two-way communication was frequent and open to hold the Bluestones team together during a tumultuous year. Feedback from staff showed that the monthly all-staff communications were well regarded, striking a balance between optimism, realism and pragmatism.
The company has an in-house training team to provide micro-learning sessions for managers in collaboration with specialists throughout the business. During the pandemic, furloughed staff were encouraged to take the opportunity to take online courses and develop new skills.
Bluestones is likely to introduce a hybrid working model where most staff work remotely one or two days a week. The company's Healthshield plan provides free access to counselling services and GP visits, and employees have been trained as mental health first aiders.
With connectivity hugely important to home-working, Crimson held three management meetings weekly to support the needs of its leadership teams. Each manager also received a minimum of two 1:1s a week with directors, to ensure their own personal wellbeing was being supported.
In light of challenging economical/personal environments, the company offered bespoke coaching to help managers lead remotely during the pandemic. In addition, an external industry specialist with over 15 years' experience was invited to attend a monthly Managers' Clinic to provide impartial and informed counsel and advice.
The company prides itself on affording employees the opportunity to learn and progress at every level. Two of its principals were promoted to managers in the second lockdown, having completed leadership progression programmes. Current managers are also working through development courses to reach senior management level.
A weekly Covid meeting was set up with clinical managers and the executive team discussing any particular issues across the organisation with staff. This continues bi-weekly. A health cash plan has provided telephone counselling to employees and managers who have struggled over the past year.
Senior managers delivered step-by-step training over Zoom and areas were allocated for people to meet in a socially distanced manner. Everyone got appropriate PPE and a video message from CEO David Webster thanked the whole team for their contribution.
Shop bubbles have been set up across the Dougie Mac shops network so there is one strategy for all and to ensure that people return in roles they feel safe in. Videos were made to inform employees of changes made such as the one-way system and screens by the till.
New one to one wellbeing sessions were established so managers could touch base with their team members at the end of each week and bosses have also encouraged their team members to block out creative Focus Time to give them sufficient time to consider their approach to projects.
Staff have continued to benefit from in-house workforce development programme, raising skills in their specific disciplines with sessions including digital learning. Due to the impact of remote working, buddy sessions were set up to help employees adapt and upskill their tech know-how.
Initiatives to boost morale among the team have included bi-weekly 30-minute Mr Motiv8or sessions, 15 minute bi-weekly coffee mornings, a weekly 10K challenge and a monthly choir. Educ8 also introduced a bespoke app to enable staff to walk the Welsh Costal Path discovering places of history along the way.
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