How line managers are creating stress for their staff

Line managers have a lot on their plate don’t they? They have to hit targets (probably with reduced resources) on a weekly, monthly and annual basis. They are also expected to manage their teams to reach their optimum potential. And now we are saying that in doing all this, they are causing their staff stress!

Below is a list of management competencies which clearly shows the behaviours and attitudes that line managers should be demonstrating in the workplace. As an HR or H&S manager have a review of your own organisation’s management competencies against this list.  Check that you have covered everything so that your managers are not causing stress for you to deal with at a later date.

Having competencies in place is of course only the beginning of the process. I would recommend that all managers are given time to look honestly at their behaviour against these competencies. This could be within a formal appraisal meeting or a specific 1-2-1 meeting for this purpose. The session could be enhanced by including feedback from their team and colleagues, if your organisation has a 360 degree review system in place.

Most of the competencies are basically common sense and won’t require too much detailed discussion. However, one or two areas may need looking at in some cases. Having this clear list of expectations will help HR or a senior manager, have the potentially difficult conversation with the line manager about areas of concern.

Staff want to trust their managers. They want to be treated with respect and receive consistent direction and support from them. They want to believe what their managers say, have confidence in their ability to do their job and to manage the team effectively. There may be many ways in which line managers can undermine this trust or respect and create unease for their staff.

Management Competancies – you will see that the list comes from research carried out by Affinity Health at Work on behalf of Investors in People, Health & Safety Executive and the CIPD.

This post was written by Charlie Damonsing of CLAssociates. CLAssociates specialises in helping businesses manage stress in the workplace, providing consultancy, training and 1-2-1 support. For further details please contact Charlie on 0771 559 6487.

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