Our prolonged overexposure to matrix diagrams, etc. has now given way to low-hierarchy organisations where the managerial roles are obscured. In addition, people have started to question the effectiveness of performance reviews and started to adopt new ways of monitoring and guiding work.
What, then, is the role of managerial work in today’s working culture? Mehiläinen’s Occupational Psychologist Max Kuznetsov offers his insights.
When studying low-hierarchy organisations, some of the common denominators usually include inspiring work atmosphere and active interaction between individuals. No one is left alone with their problems.
Such teams usually have mutually agreed goals and clear working roles that enable independent work and the correct allocation of resources to ensure success.
“Finally, when observing low-hierarchy organisations, we realise that the elements of managerial work are realised in an extremely strong manner but the heavy structures have been left out,” says Max Kuznetsov, Occupational Psychologist at Mehiläinen.
How do supervisors themselves describe their challenges? The days are filled with meetings, the actual work must be carried out in the evening and there are still the employees to consider.
“It’s strange that people in charge of leading people spend most of their time somewhere else,” says Kuznetsov.
The ever-changing operating environment calls for great leadership. In the end, it is the supervisor who is responsible for building the type of organisation and atmosphere that can reach the desired results.
“Occasionally, it seems like all these systems have made us forget the meaning of managerial work. It doesn’t mean checking the scorecard once every six months but genuine interest, caring and constant interaction with the team which, in the long term, yields results. This is a much better way of implementing the messages from top management in everyday operations,” says Kuznetsov.
Based on his experiences, Kuznetsov concludes by saying that investing in good leadership is more crucial in terms of competitiveness and productivity than adding a few minutes to the daily working hours.
Mehiläinen’s experts closely support the customers in changing situations and in promoting leadership.
“We’ve found that the most important thing desired and required by employees in situations of change is closer and more interactive managerial work as it offers clarity and makes the work less hurried and convoluted,” says Kuznetsov.
“In that case, the employees don’t need formal, weekly PowerPoint meetings or a flood of intranet messages. They need a leader who is present, interactive and inspiring and able to support the employees in setting goals while also clearly seeing the bigger picture.
Listen to an interview (in Finnish) with Mehiläinen’s Occupational Psychologist Max Kuznetsov on whether supervisors are actually needed.
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