Supporting changes in managerial practices and preventing psycho-social risks: putting back the employee at the centre of attention

Managers have seen their support missions, their creativity and the ability to think on their feet in great demand during the pandemic; some have emerged from this period feeling enriched but also exhausted. They are now entering a new phase, with the need to apply an hybrid style of management ; they are paying increased attention to preserving the quality of the link in their interactions and in their managerial rituals.

Here are two managerial situations that illustrate this:

  • Following the reform of interviews in the public service, I was asked to accompany health managers to help them acquire keys and methods to conduct professional evaluation interviews.  The cultural change is about the manager’s ability to move from an evaluation based on a grading scale, to evaluating the efficiency of a future employee through the prism of his or her technical, relational and organisational skills and his or her degree of autonomy. For the manager, this implies a change in his approach, as he or she will create a time-space where listening, questioning, and positive as well as constructive feedback encourages the setting of s.m.a.r.t. objectives during the exchange. The two major lessons learnt from these sessions were in the analysis of the needs of the future employees, by learning a way of “questioning the competencies” and in illustrating work situations factually.

During these sessions, the managers took into account the measure of the fundamental, relational and universal needs of the employees, to build objectives that make sense for both parties. They also learned to set limits to what they would listen to as a result of the breakdown of the work/life boundary, as well as naming the emotions and share the feelings that arose during this period.

This act of management is essential to allow the employee to evaluate himself and to be an actor of his evolution, the idea here was also to take a step back without analysing everything through the unique prism of Covid19.

  • At the same time, I accompanied the multi-site managers of an international company specialising in the supply and trading of food ingredients. The awareness-raising process initiated was aimed at giving meaning to psychosocial risks and to equip managers. They were given the keys to preparing an exploratory interview with their employee to clarify their situation and identify the impacts of stress, the counter-impact of the period and identify the signals that increase burnout. This is a high value-added approach, which is very well received, and enables managers to:
  • clarify a situation,
  • identify the origins of a tension, setback or a drop in performance;

Wherever possible, they can then build together or with HR support a dedicated programme to support them and regain a form of balance or build new benchmarks. This is a major key to re-establishing a healthy link with the group and the work environment.

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