May 09, 2022
May 09, 2022
Contributor: Jordan Turner
Not exactly, but what we need from managers has changed.
Managers today must confront new realities. Social and political turbulence, work-life fusion and hybrid work have added a new layer of complexity (and pressure) to their roles. Many employees are working in a hybrid world with more choices about where, when and how much they work. A few factors to consider:
Download now: A 12-Month Roadmap to Evolve Culture & Leadership in a Hybrid Workplace
Plus, the responsibilities of managers — and the number of workers who report to them — have skyrocketed, making it more difficult to provide hands-on assistance. According to our research, 70% of HR leaders say managers are overwhelmed by their responsibilities.
As such, employees are turning to their colleagues for the help and advice they would have traditionally sought from a manager. “Employees feel like their managers know less about their day-to-day work than their peers and coworkers do, so employees are more likely to turn to their coworkers to get advice and job coaching,” says Brian Kropp, Chief of Research at Gartner. “This creates an environment where the average employee gets more value out of their peer relationships than their managerial relationship.”
Learn more: What Is HR Strategy — And How Can You Best Execute It?
Traditional managerial success was based on the ability to manage and evaluate employee performance. This has shifted. Now, HR executives hire and develop managers who are poised to be great coaches and teachers. However, this model faces challenges thanks to three major trends: remote work, technology and shifting employee expectations.
Listen now: Organizational Culture and Connectedness Is in Crisis
Organizations must equip managers to operate in a more empathetic way. Employees of empathetic managers are less likely to quit, tend to be more engaged, have better overall well-being and perform at a higher level. Empathy is the key differentiator that drives employee performance in a hybrid world.
Empathy requires fostering trust and care and a culture of acceptance. This is a big ask and requires managers to:
Learn more: A Roadmap for HR Excellence and Strategic Impact in a World of Hybrid Work
Gartner research shows only 47% of managers feel they are prepared to lead with empathy. “We’re moving toward someone who has to be almost like a social worker or school counselor to support their employees as they confront challenges, both at work and in their personal lives,” says Kropp. “If you don’t want your employees talking to you about their personal situations and needs, and you’re not going to be there to support them, odds are you shouldn’t be a manager.”
Join your peer CHROs and senior HR executives from leading organizations to discuss specific HR challenges and learn top HR trends and priorities.
Recommended resources for Gartner clients*:
Enable Manager Empathy to Foster Flexible Work
Demystifying 3 HR Leader Concerns About Remote Work
*Note that some documents may not be available to all Gartner clients.