- While leaders are generally satisfied with their teams’ productivity during the coronavirus pandemic, they are concerned with their ability to forge personal relationships with team members and manage their well-being, according to a report by ExecOnline shared with HR Dive. The leadership training provider compared results from two polls, one from April and another from July, to see how managerial sentiment has changed since the start of the pandemic.
- The percentage of leaders citing "at-home productivity" as a barrier to effective leadership decreased from 45% to 31% between the April and July polling. Meanwhile, maintaining culture (38% to 45%) and building relationships (56% to 63%) were two barriers to effective virtual work that saw an increase between the two periods.
- ExecOnline also shared with HR Dive data about employee burnout, saying that more than 90% of leaders in a July survey were concerned about it, with 23% being extremely concerned.
After the pandemic-driven shift to remote work, employers focused on addressing peoples’ basic needs, such as job security, individual health and caring for family, including children or elderly parents. Lack of child care benefits was already a barrier for workers before the pandemic, one that has been exacerbated by the outbreak.
In fact, nearly half of employers in a Willis Towers Watson survey in May said they are expanding healthcare benefits and well-being programs. One-third plan to make changes to PTO or vacation programs.
Burnout was also a rising issue before the pandemic, though studies have found that flexibility in work schedules and carefully managing workloads can help. Managers also must be cognizant of new learning and development needs resulting from the move to remote work.
ExecOnline’s findings align with recent research on the impact of decreased workplace socializing, including potential harm to culture. Emtrain reported an 11% decline in employees rating their workplace culture as healthy and three-quarters of the workers in an April Smartsheet survey said they felt less connected to work. Sixty percent said they "feel less informed about what is going on within their company."