Manager of tomorrow: 3 skills to adapt to the managerial revolution
Companies are changing. Like the world around us, organizations are evolving and with it, the teams that make them up. To guide these transitions, managers are the ones who will take the first steps towards change. New work methods, project management, and new cultures require the adoption of a 3.0 management style that adapts to the new needs of employees, and also responds to the upcoming challenges. So how can we transform our management so that everyone invests in the common good and achieves their objectives?
There is no ideal organizational model. When we talk about transformation, we may tend to believe that there is an ideal to be reached and that it is enough to meet the challenges of major transformations for them to be “completed”. But in a world that is constantly and rapidly evolving, transformation is never finished, it is renewed. Today, all major transformations ultimately depend on the ability of individuals and organizations to adapt, to evolve serenely in an uncertain world, and to react to the unexpected. Management is a pillar for supporting business transformations, because they are driven by teams. The challenge for management in 2021 is to guide change.
Towards a management 3.0
Companies are facing new challenges: hybridization of work, digital and cultural transformation, renewal of skills and talents, to only name a few. The context of the pandemic has transformed our management methods towards more agile methods and requiring more autonomy. Added to this is the arrival of the younger generations, called millennials, which implies, for example, a review of management methods.
According to a study by the recruitment site Monster.fr carried out in 2020 with the Yougov institute, at the end of May 2020, 19% of 18-34 year olds said they did not need meaning in their jobs, whereas at the end of 2020, only 4% shared this view.
In search of meaning, millenials are therefore no longer just looking for compensation, but rather a sense of purpose. It will be important for these new recruits to understand how, at their own level, they participate in the company’s collective adventure. These new generations of employees are also looking for feedback and encouragement. In exchange for their involvement, it is important to be thanked and congratulated regularly.
The term management 3.0 was coined by Jurgen Appelo, a writer and lecturer, who works on leadership issues. Today, a manager is a leader. This means that they use their power of conviction to lead people towards their objectives. This concept describes all the methods of agile management: the manager-leader gives meaning to the employees, rather than giving them directives.
Management 3.0 would be an agile management type, based on a sharing contract. More linear, horizontal and collaborative, it would increase the autonomy of each person, and would be more empowering for employees. For the smooth running of organizations, it is essential for managers to develop certain skills, which will enable them to better understand the needs and expectations of employees, and to get closer to the role of coach. To do this, managers must learn to better manage their emotions, but also those of their teams. So, what skills should a manager develop today to reinvent his management and better support employees in the future?
Knowing how to listen is an essential professional skill for any good manager. Sincerely listening to one’s employees has important consequences on the overall efficiency of the team, both individually and collectively, but also on the quality of inter-colleague relations. So what is active listening? First of all, it’s about clearing your head to make room only for the information that your interlocutor communicates to you. Without thinking about what you are going to answer, you let the other person finish what they are saying. To draw the best conclusions from what your interlocutor communicates, you should not think about what you are going to say next. You let the speaker finish what he or she is saying, and only decide what to think about it once it is over. You can ask questions, show that you are attentive and constructive to what the person you are talking to is telling you. By developing your listening skills, you will truly understand the needs of your teams, and be able to respond effectively to their expectations.
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Managing conflicts at work
Within the company, we are in daily contact with each other and this can lead to conflicts. Indeed, in all human groups, tensions can occur and it is up to the manager to take charge of these conflictual situations in order to transform them into an opportunity to improve relations. Because it is by building together that we reach a satisfactory solution, managing conflicts is a crucial aspect of management. Between conflicts of objectives; conflicts of strategy or methods; conflicts of interests or needs; and conflicts of values, dealing with these tense situations requires very specific listening skills, particularly in order to resolve them. Even if the conflict often appears in a brutal way, it almost always presents signals beforehand, which one must learn to identify in order to manage them as soon as possible. As a manager, you must not only learn to identify situations of tension – which can lead to a rupture – but also learn to prevent conflicts between employees by instilling the right practices and behaviors.
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The company is first and foremost made up of people, each of whom will have different behaviors. The adoption of new processes and the smooth running of certain projects can be encouraged – or not – by the employees and their behaviors. Thus, the organization is influenced by the personalities that make it up, and the manager’s mission is to unite these pluralities of behaviors around the achievement of common objectives. To guide transformations, leadership is a key skill because it allows one to learn how to respond to the needs of individuals and to understand the behaviors of each person, in order to better guide them. Getting teams involved in projects and enabling them to achieve their objectives requires a climate of trust, which can be fostered by the social influence of the manager, who knows how to communicate with the various individuals who make up the company. To go from manager to leader, you don’t necessarily need to have a strong personality, but above all you need to be aware that leadership is about motivating people.
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Of course, there is no ideal organizational model. However, well-managed teams can make all the difference in creating the optimal conditions for collectively achieving business goals. According to a Gallup study, organizations that manage to personally involve employees in their missions achieve very good annual results. For example, a 10% improvement in the connection between employees and their organization’s mission or goal leads to an 8.1% decrease in turnover and a 4.4% increase in profitability. And finally, managers themselves want to be better trained to improve their job performance. According to a TalentSoft study, during the pandemic, 44.5% of public sector managers requested training for themselves, and that’s good! Managers, in their role as leaders, set an example and encourage employees to learn, so that they can continue to perform well in the long term, despite the unforeseen events that the future holds.