Economy Teleworking, stress management…. How the health crisis transformed...

Teleworking, stress management…. How the health crisis transformed the role of manager

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An employee teleworking during the health crisis – Artyom Geodakyan / TASS / Sipa USA / SIPA

  • Since the first confinement, managers have had to learn to work differently with their teams and to be even more attentive to the prevention of psychosocial risks.
  • This is shown by the Cegos * social climate 2020 barometer published on Tuesday, which looks back on the first wave of the Covid-19 crisis.

Since the first confinement, they too have been on the front line in companies. Managers ensure work continuity, motivate their teams despite a changing context, without losing sight of the objectives that have been set for them.

The coronavirus crisis first forced them to make urgent decisions and to reorganize. Because according to the Cegos * barometer of the 2020 social climate published on Tuesday, and which looks back on the first wave of the Covid-19 crisis, 54% of employees were teleworking during it. Not easy for their department heads who had not had the experience of remote management over such a long period. It took explain the new organization to everyone, redistribute assignments, take stock of the working conditions of each member of the team, organize videoconferences, liaise with other company departments, etc.

In the oven and in the mill during confinement

These challenges were met with flying colors by managers, because 76% of their employees surveyed in the study believe that their company has been able to communicate sufficiently with them through them. “Managers have shown agility and inventiveness to establish new ways of collaborating remotely and ensuring team cohesion, by organizing Skype cafes, for example”, comments Catherine Lainé, specialist in management at Cegos. Additional difficulty for them: 79% of managers continued to go to their workplace, even partially. What forced them to duplicate themselves with face-to-face meetings and others remotely. Even if it means repeating the same information several times …

Another challenge accentuated by the coronavirus crisis: the prevention of psychosocial risks among their employees. And this, while only 53% of them have been trained to detect the signs. But it was necessary to manage the anxieties of employees with regard to the epidemic, isolation, family confinement and teleworking, the impossibility of recharging one’s batteries with colleagues or the loss of income for those placed on partial unemployment. and who did not benefit from compensation by the company. Moreover, 48% of employees say that the first wave of the crisis increased their stress level. But managers were able to show kindness: “70% of employees felt listened to and understood by their manager during this period. And 71% felt their work was recognized. This shows reciprocity in trust, ”says Annette Chazoule, manager of the management training offer at Cegos.

An intense investment to face the crisis

While they could have given up in the face of the multiple challenges that the crisis has confronted them, the managers remained motivated. And 21% believe they are even more so since the coronavirus crisis. “They felt they had leeway to act during confinement. Their awareness of the present or future economic difficulties for their company also pushes them to unite and to keep a high level of investment in their work to ensure the sustainability of jobs, ”explains Annette Chazoule.

But after giving so much during confinement and working extra hard after it, managers do not hide a form of wear and tear. More than two-thirds (68%) even believe that the level of stress they are under has a negative impact on their health. And while in 2018, 24% of managers said they had already suffered serious psychological problems during their career (such as burnout or depression), they are 27% to declare it in 2020. For four managers in ten, it is also more difficult to manage today than before the coronavirus crisis.

A lack of recognition that weighs heavily

All the more so since many of them suffer from a lack of recognition: thus, 39% of managers consider that salary increases do not sufficiently take individual merit into account. And with the difficulties that businesses have been facing since the onset of the health crisis, that sentiment is likely to worsen, as many of them will not be increased this year at least. And maybe the next ones.

Faced with a second confinement and a difficult outlook for their company, managers will still be on all fronts and for a long time to come. “They face issues that are increasingly intertwined, making their daily lives more complex. They will absolutely have to be supported by human resources to be able to effectively manage all these issues, ”insists Annette Chazoule. Because without their strong involvement, companies will find it difficult to raise their heads.

* Barometer conducted last July with 1,520 people (1,000 employees, 300
managers and 220 Human Resources Directors or Managers – DRH / RRH), in organizations with 100 or more employees, in the private and public sectors.

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