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Making Managing Manageable: Opening Arguments 

by Dani Johnson and Stacia Garr | January 31st, 2023

Welcome to our eighth season of Workplace Stories. Over the past seven seasons, you have heard from thinkers, leaders, and practitioners about the myriad ways to support organizations and improve the workplace.

In this season, we’re focusing on making managing manageable. Organizations face steep challenges in the current climate. They need to cut costs, enable teams to deliver results effectively, and keep employees engaged and satisfied in a tight labor market with a looming recession ahead. 

Managers play a key role in responding to societal megatrends. That’s why organizations need to support and rely on managers both individually and systemically. You won’t want to miss out on the episodes ahead. Listen in to hear what you can expect from season eight. 

 

Making Managing Manageable

As we come upon our 63rd episode, we are focusing on what it actually means to be a manager in 2023. With social movements, poor economic conditions, the Covid climate, and the (kind of) back-to-the-office atmosphere, what it meant to be a manager 5 years ago was much different than it is today. 

 

How to help managers become more engaged and more effective

According to a recent survey, employees perceive their manager’s effectiveness to be lower from 2020 to 2022, and managers' engagement with their work has also declined. Now more than ever, managers are disengaged and less effective at a time when their organizations need them the most. 

However, lagging efficacy may not be solely due to circumstances within the manager’s control. When we developed a study into what drives managers’ effectiveness, we defined seven practices that lead to leadership success. Four of these practices were within the manager’s control and three were organizational issues. 

Since managers’ behavior changes little year over year, organizations can do more to support the needed changes for effective leadership. While manager behavior remains consistent, organizations' support has declined considerably. So while managers are doing their best, their organizations aren’t stepping up to the plate to provide the support they need to lead effectively. 

If you are a member check out the resource: Managing Better in 2023: It Starts with You.

 

Build structures to support change

We are systems thinkers, so we’re constantly looking to discover ways to improve the systems within our organizations. As we do so, we’ll take you along for the ride. Over the course of this eighth season, we’ll explore three broad areas that our community can focus on to help to support managers. 

  1. Connection within your organization – If you are a member look for The Great Reconnection study for more insight into this area.
  2. Creating a map for success – By creating learning structures with clear goals and great feedback we’ll find pathways to success. 
  3. Provide a GPS – Data-based feedback and check-ins framed with the right structure can bring about positive results.

Don’t miss out on our next episode with Clint Kofford, author of Creating Meaningful Change. We’ll explore what enables leaders to change in an unpredictable environment.  

 

Resources & People Mentioned

 

End-of-Season Webinar

Don't miss our season recap, where we will summarize key themes, share critical insights and anecdotes, and identify our questions on how to make managing more manageable.

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