A recent Edenred survey of 2,000 employees found that 50% of people don’t feel their line manager appreciates the work they do. Only half say their employer says thank you for a job well done, even less (38%) receive recognition for going above and beyond and only 35% think their line manager understands them or the personal challenges they face (37%). 

Some of this may be attributable to hybrid working and lack of face-to-face contact, but this situation is clearly not sustainable. More needs to be done to retrain line managers to lead, motivate and engage staff in an environment where employees are feeling isolated or pressured by the cost of living crisis.

This means five things to happen:

1. Listen up

As a HR community, we need to first listen to that middle layer to uncover whatever challenges they face and put appropriate training in place to help them overcome them.

2. Train for the future

Secondly, we need to take a positive step by putting line managers through development programmes specifically designed to help them to focus on themselves as leaders, their strengths and where they still need to develop – especially in light of new flexible working arrangements and engaging a remote workforce.

3. Show empathy

It’s important to check in regularly with line managers to see how they’re supporting their people and offer guidance and advice where it’s needed. We also need to make sure they’re doing ok. It’s easy to forget that they’ve been through a tough couple of years too and this new world we’re working in is new to them as well.

4. Provide the tool kit

More also needs to be done to provide line managers with the tools and mechanisms that will enable them to show regular appreciation and provide rewards and benefits – but without it becoming a burden on their time (for example, through easy-to-manage digital reward platforms with a strong focus on self-service).

5. Make the wellbeing offer simple

Equally, it’s important to pull wellbeing resources together so that line managers can understand them more clearly. The cost-of-living crisis has been a catalyst for change that has seen many employers start to consolidate their recognition and wellbeing offerings into a single hub – with clearer signposting to existing resources, benefits and new elements such as energy consumption advice services.

It’s now time to capitalise by making line managers are fully aware of this progress so they can communicate what’s available to their teams.