We, at Herrmann, know that managers and the employees they lead are a company’s most valuable asset. Employers grow when their employees are growing. If an organization wants to survive or better thrive, they must start by developing managers into learning leaders. To best do that, they have to understand what managers and teams are up against first.
We’ve been thinking a lot about how to better empower and equip managers to succeed in their roles and lead the charge toward the future of work, which is why we set out to study management challenges by turning to our customer network and asking: “What are the biggest challenges you’re currently facing as a manager?”
Earlier this year, we put out a call to action to our customer network to tell us about their challenges.
In the poll, we presented a series of common management challenges framed as statements - and asked all respondents - managers and non-managers - to tell us how frequently they think about each.
- Engaging a team when working remotely
- Creating a culture of belonging
- Accessing a community of managers for learning and idea-sharing
- Improving communication to reduce frustration
- Retaining top performers
- Addressing diversity and inclusion
- Navigating difficult conversations
- Communicating with partners and stakeholders
- Onboarding new talent
- Encouraging team members to speak up when they need help
868 people from 127 different companies responded to our poll of management challenges. Participants reflected a wide range of sectors and company profiles, from small startups to enterprise-level fortune 500s. What we heard was clear: managers and team members are most concerned about communication in many different forms.
The Top 4 Challenges Reported:
- I want to improve communication on my team to reduce frustration.
(4.7 managers / 4.2 non-managers)
- We need better communication with my team's partners and stakeholders.(4.6 managers / 4.1 non-managers)
- I'm looking for ways to create a culture of belonging on my team to retain talent.
(4.4 managers / 3.9 non-managers)
- I want to ensure that my team members are engaged and empowered when working remotely.
(4.3 managers / 3.9 non-managers)
Interestingly, we saw great alignment between managers and non-managers in their concerns, with the same top four challenges for both groups. This is an indicator that leadership and team members may be more in sync than we sometimes realize and that communication just might be the key to overcoming shared challenges within and across different levels of an organization.
We also learned that managers may think about challenges more frequently than their team members. This makes sense given their wide-ranging accountabilities for team and company success. As a manager, all of these challenges can benefit when viewed through the lens of Whole Brain® Thinking. Be sure to log in once a week to the Herrmann platform to see how you can better understand your direct reports and other colleagues and build a more collaborative and productive culture.