Contrary to the belief, managers have gained more importance now

The significance of managers has only increased in this scenario of constrained working.

0
6297

At the beginning of the lockdown, there were several predictions on how the new world of work would drastically change. Among the several predictions that were made, one was about overseers or mid-level managers becoming redundant in the remote working model.

The argument was that when companies cut short their team strengths, there will be only place for specialists and generalists will have to make way. Besides, it was believed that specialists are not required to be supervised all the time. The need was more for a leader rather than a manager.

“The significance of managers has only increased in this scenario of constrained working. At dispersed locations, the role of the middle managers is to integrate and understand the requirements from the senior colleagues and disseminate the information to the frontline team members. They also have to manage their productivity as compared to earlier days.”

Jayant Kumar, head- HR, ports & logistics, Adani Group

Also improved business intelligence tools are further expected to reduce the relevance of the middle- level managers in future, irrespective of whether the work is out of office or home.

It’s been around 15 months now, and contrary to the earlier belief companies have reemphasised on the importance of the managers.

It’s not for monitoring but they are the real bridge between the employees and the organisation during the difficult times. There were the ones who were in constant touch with the team members providing them support.

For many managers there was collaboration overload – juggling between the constant deluge of meetings, chats, and emails.

Agrees, Jayant Kumar, head- HR, ports & logistics, Adani Group.

He believes the significance of managers has only increased in this scenario of constrained working. At dispersed locations, the role of the middle managers is to integrate and understand the requirements from the senior colleagues and disseminate the information to the frontline team members. They also have to manage their productivity as compared to earlier days.

“Is it possible for a single leader to manage multiple resources or multiple regions? Someone has to monitor them from an output point of view. For instance, if a TA executive is in charge of sourcing, then who will do the validation? During HR interviews, who will do checks before presenting to the management?”

Anil Mohanty, head of people and culture, Medikabazaar

“In this setup, clarity of goals is very important and it is a manager’s responsibility to ensure that this clarity seeps down to the team members as well,” asserts Kumar.

He is of the opinion that as long as there is a hierarchy, the role of managers will never go redundant.

Managers are not for managing people physically or putting discipline in place. They have to plan, organise, direct, control and monitor. They are responsible for integrating all activities, and filtering out many, before they reach the management. They act as problem solvers.

That makes Anil Mohanty, head of people and culture, Medikabazaar, ask a very relevant question, “Is it possible for a single leader to manage multiple resources or multiple regions? Someone has to monitor them from an output point of view. For instance, if a TA executive is in charge of sourcing, then who will do the validation? During HR interviews, who will do checks before presenting to the management?”

“Managers aren’t drill masters, rather they act as span breakers. The role of managers has substantially changed to that of a coach and guide.”

Lalit Kar, senior VP & head – HR, Reliance Digital

Hence, whether it is work-from-home or work-from-office, a manager will always be needed, according to Mohanty.

Having said that, many also believe that the typical manager’s role needs an overhaul.

Lalit Kar, senior VP & head – HR, Reliance Digital, says, “Managers aren’t drill masters, rather they act as span breakers. The role of managers has substantially changed to that of a coach and guide.”

It’s given that in the new environment, managers need to buckle up and change themselves in this new format of work.

“The role of managers is being re-imagined post COVID-19. For managers to lead remotely, they need to build a fundamentally different relationship with their team members, which involves a lot of critical elements.”

Amit Das, CHRO, Bennett Coleman & Company

Amit Das, CHRO, Bennett Coleman & Company asserts that employees do not want to be ‘managed’.

They’d rather be ‘empowered’ and ‘taken care of’ while ‘staying connected’, especially while working remotely. The role of managers is being re-imagined post COVID-19. For managers to lead remotely, they need to build a fundamentally different relationship with their team members, which involves a lot of critical elements.

He lists them out saying, “Empowerment and trust — equipping team members with resources so that they don’t just ‘survive’ but ‘thrive’ in the new normal; frequent and transparent communication— by being more intentional about reaching out to team members, keeping in mind that social distancing is not the same as emotional distancing; Empathy, care and compassion —by providing emotional and social support, and helping team members manage stress and prevent burnout.”

Comment on the Article

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

15 + twenty =