“Those who were competent in communicating and who knew their teams well, managed better than those who were relying only or mainly on their physical presence in the office,” the report concluded. “Some leaders have seen how some teams showed great solidarity and how others continued to compete between the team members which made the situation even worse.” As one respondent wrote, “the lockdown revealed how well or bad the team was working before” the pandemic.
The report found that few managers were equipped to deal with the changes and uncertainty brought by the pandemic. They quickly learned however, and in the survey respondents said they appreciated the importance of communication, health, support and flexibility and the demystification of telework.
In terms of lessons learned, managers expressed a desire to maintain some level of home office and flexibility, higher levels of communication, a shift from focusing on working hours to task fulfilment and delegation. They also said they’d like to travel less for meetings, training and conferences, continue using digital tools for connecting with clients, and training and one participant wanted psychological support extended to cover issues such as burnout, stress and harassment.
Moving forwards, managers said their needs should be addressed to support them in the new normal through training and support to implement appropriate strategies.
Most of the managers and leaders who participated in the survey said they were willing to continue implementing some form of home office work and flexibility but it remained to be seen if organisations would support these measures and how.
The survey was conducted online from 28 May to the end of June and completed by 46 people. Of respondents, 35% were managing directors, 17% managers and 15% senior or middle managers.