- Front-line managers say their companies are out of touch with employee expectations, putting them in a difficult position, according to Microsoft’s Work Trend Index report, released March 16. Additionally, 74% of managers surveyed said they don’t have the "influence or resources" to make changes for their teams.
- One example of those challenges: 38% of hybrid employees surveyed said their biggest challenge is knowing "when and why" to come into the office, while only 28% of leaders have created team agreements that define those norms.
- Companies "cannot rely solely on the office to recoup the social capital [they've] lost over the past two years," Microsoft said in a statement regarding the report. Notably, over half of hybrid workers surveyed said they would be shifting to fully remote work in the year ahead.
As hybrid and remote work become the new normal for many companies, managers may need additional training and support to keep up.
Previous reports already noted that managers may not be as helpful as they believe; in an October 2020 report from 15Five, less than half of employees surveyed said their one-on-ones were useful, compared to 74% of managers. But managers also said in that survey that they felt pressured by the pandemic and that they didn’t have the right tools to do their jobs effectively.
Some companies have begun to offer tools specifically to train managers in skills like coaching, feedback, prioritization and how to have effective one-on-ones. A 2021 report from Perceptyx noted managers may also need training to ensure remote or hybrid workers — especially women — receive the same consideration as in-office or in-person workers.
But managers are also, in many cases, stuck in the remote work game of chicken between workers and leadership. While employees have gone on record regarding their love for remote work, particularly its flexibility, company leaders often say the opposite, citing concerns about company culture and collaboration. Team leaders may feel tension due to concerns about productivity but an inability to walk the floor and physically see workers working, experts previously told HR Dive.
Due to the worker shortage, however, the ball may be in employees’ court, experts said — meaning employers may need to make investments to ensure workers stay on board, including managerial training and hybrid work models.