• Barnett Waddingham
    Barnett Waddingham
  • The importance of effective line management

    Paydata discusses the strategies employers are putting in place to support line managers in getting the best out of their teams…

    It is imperative for managers to understand what matters to their team members, stressing the importance of actively listening to employees. Giving managers this toolkit promotes the wider business as a fair employer and drives down employee turnover in the first place.

    Choosing the most appropriate pay structure for your organisation is critical for employees to know that they are being paid fairly. In this article we’ll outline the benefits involved for line managers who have an objective system they can use to inform decisions and provide crucial confidence to engage with the individuals they manage.

    The purpose of pay structures

    Management need to be in a position where they are equipped to get the most out of their team. During performance management cycles, the strategies employers offer managers can help them to be consistent in their approach and ensure that they achieve parity of pay throughout organisations, which can help drive employee engagement.

    Managers are the gateway between strategy and practice

    Managers are the vital gateway between the system in theory and its implementation, determining whether the approach set by management is actually consistently delivered. This is particularly true when it comes to identifying objectives in relation to improvements.

    The art of persuasion

    At the heart of effective line management is communication. It is imperative for managers to understand what matters to their individual team members and justifying pay reviews is crucial to maintaining momentum behind employee engagement, even in spite of incremental increases or pay freezes. Managers must demonstrate they are committed to a long-term view of an employee’s progress and their welfare by making fair, rational and logical decisions.

    A framework to guide managers

    Those in managerial positions should be equipped to make their case for key decisions affecting their employees – pay structures can provide this objective framework. This can improve line managers’ capabilities, giving them guidelines on which to justify their decisions and deliver consistent assessments that are placed in the context of the wider organisation. Employees can also feel safe in the knowledge that they are being treated equally.

    Leadership skills

    Delivery and line management are not always a conducive model. Often managerial promotions are based on merit, whilst management has to be learnt ‘on the job’. This risks the company compromising their best contributor who has worked their way up the ladder and does not make the most effective manager.

    Foster managers from joining

    Developing leadership-orientated skills is something that HR teams focus on to ensure that managers go from focusing on their own development to taking pride in helping others learn. Giving actionable feedback comes back to communication skills and broadening the lens from, ‘what do I have to deliver?’ to ‘how can we collectively deliver as a team?’ This change in perspective is a long-term change as each leader learns to present their ideas in an interesting and engaging manner to colleagues to effect change collectively.

    1) Nurture future managers

    Effective leadership takes time and effort to practice and deliver. Once in a managerial role, organisations tend to want to see immediate results. However, individuals are facing new and multiple responsibilities, where they cannot rely on diligence to engage and motivate the wider team. Leadership development programmes should be accessible for all, to secure a future pipeline of effective managers and should not just be offered to those already in these positions of responsibility.

    2) Actively listen to employees

    Current leaders are increasingly taking creative approaches to engage teams. Increasingly, HR teams are pursuing entry interviews, not just exit interviews, to ascertain what the employee has valued about the onboarding experience and where improvements can be made. This not only helps to lower employee turnover levels – these insights can support managers’ understanding of their teams and what drives the individuals they are managing from the outset, not just during defined management conversations around performance and objectives. Employee opinion surveys are also becoming an increasingly used point of reference, with 76 per cent of organisations featuring these as a priority for 2020. These enable organisations to quickly understand their employees’ reactions to the existing culture and new initiatives.

    3) Engage with employees as individuals

    Encouraging managers to take the time to get to know the people in their team as individuals ensures that greater trust and clarity around roles can be encouraged from the outset. This promotes a rounded employee experience and lays the foundations for more effective performance management across organisations. Younger demographics increasingly value continuous feedback to reflect their progression in real time and identifying individual employee needs can help managers to be agile in their approach. An objective framework to structure conversations around progression and pay can ultimately strengthen mutual trust within the team.

    Talk to our consultants at Paydata today

    We’d love to discuss ways in which you can equip managers with the knowledge, tools and training to maximise the effectiveness of their teams – call Paydata today on +44 (0) 1733 391377 or visit www.paydata.co.uk.


    Stuart O'Brien

    All stories by: Stuart O'Brien

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