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Management skills for a better work culture

by Jackson B

By Nikki Thorpe, People Operations  Manager at the Workforce management platform, Planday,

The ultimate investment for any business is always the staff, and most importantly, their happiness.  However, management skills are unfortunately the downfall of many teams, often jeopardising staff attrition. According to a recent study1 carried out by Totaljobs, almost half (49%) of people admitted to quitting their jobs solely because of their manager and more than a quarter (26%) claimed their manager caused them to seek mental health support.

In addition, employees dealing with workplace stress are far more likely to take up bad habits, with around a third of employees upping their intake of stimulants such as nicotine, caffeine, and alcohol according to Perkbox’ 2020 UK workplace stress survey2.

With deadlines and targets to meet, how can managers ensure that their employees’s wellbeing is prioritised?

Nikki Thorpe, People Operations  Manager at the Workforce management platform, Planday, provides some expert tips on the management skills you need to create a better culture within your workplace.

Prioritising mental health

“It’s no secret that the corporate world is under great pressure and stress which can have a significant impact on mental health, often making the workplace not a very great place to be.

“The pressures of the pandemic only make it worse. Employees already fighting inner battles will find it even harder to work at full capacity. It’s essential to practice good management traits like empathy, respect, and active listening when these issues arise.

“Take time to communicate with your employees and understand their challenges. Consider offering counselling services, so employees have easy access to professional help if they need it.”


“Now, more than ever, staff situations are unpredictable. Not only are individuals contracting COVID-19 or having to isolate because of the virus, they’re dealing with the grievances and pressures of a pandemic everyday.

“Transparency and understanding are at the core of the working culture, and even more so in extreme circumstances like these, so maintaining flexibility throughout is extremely valuable.

“Remote work options also help you retain highly skilled employees through special life circumstances, such as a disability or the need to care for a family member.

Encourage conversation with employees

“Clear communication is the key to an effective workplace. When employees make a mistake, instead of reprimanding them, give them personalised feedback that motivates them to improve their work. The more clarity you provide employees, the more they’ll improve and help grow your business.

“And don’t just give feedback to employees. Request feedback from them! Ask employees how your company’s post-pandemic protocol is working for them. You may gain insight into issues they’re facing that you had no idea of. This also gives you a chance to discover how engaged employees are in their work.”

Utilising digital tools for effective communication

“Remote work was on the rise before the pandemic. But now more than ever, companies use a multitude of online tools to coordinate, organise, plan, and communicate with employees.

“Tools exist for project management, time tracking, employee monitoring, scheduling, and communication, all of which improve productivity and save time.

“Advanced technology improves the efficiency of follow-up and meetings; apps keep you organised and allow you to mark off tasks.  Knowing how to effectively manage people also puts you in a better position to handle any problems that may arise and cause disruption in the workplace.”
Support career growth 

“While it’s essential to grow your business, it’s also important to uplift your employees and help them prosper in the workplace. Regular virtual training sessions, guest speaker lectures, webinars, and mentoring programmes go a long way towards achieving this goal.

“Senior members offering training and guidance to junior employees can foster growth in the company and the industry as a whole. Rewarding new ideas and innovation creates a thriving environment and will motivate employees to work more efficiently while honing their skills.

“When there are vacant positions internally, create a referral program so employees can recommend teammates to apply. This enhances motivation, positivity, and goodwill between employees.”

Reduce micromanagement

“Experts agree: employees perform better when they don’t feel management breathing down their necks. Allow your employees agency over their time and projects. Offer help and support rather than constant supervision.

“Many companies discourage social media activity. However, this rule actually reduces morale and creates a feeling of discontent. Mental breaks can help increase focus. Therefore, consider loosening restrictions on things like social media usage and break times.”

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