Leadership Development

The Manager Balancing Act: Exploring the Stress of Team Leaders

Explore the Manager Balancing Act – delving into the stress faced by team leaders. Insights and solutions for effective leadership.

According to a 2021 Gallup Poll, 35% of managers reported feeling stressed and burnt out at work “very often or always.” Team leaders suffer significantly higher mental strain at work than the employees they lead.

There are various reasons for this and illuminating data points to explain why this is happening. Senior executives and supervisors do not typically interact directly with working employees. Managers are the liaison point between these two groups. Representing these two groups, feeling the need to please both parties, can be incredibly stressful. Managers are often tasked with forwarding supervisors’ directives and policies to employees while relaying employee grievances and requests up the ladder.

Managers are responsible for their own performance and the performance of the staff they manage. Increased responsibility and status often come with perks like increased pay, but the expectations are higher. Managers must deal with workplace gossip, increased workload, the backlash of poor company culture and high-pressure environments.

The story in the numbers

The pandemic created a radical shift in the workplace environment. Most companies were forced into complete mandatory remote work. Now that the pandemic is over, companies are still struggling to figure out what the new workplace “normal” is. 

Many employees have returned to work, some are still remote, and many are working hybrid schedules. Being a manager and handling regular work duties while navigating the HR nightmare of adjusting to new workplace norms can be incredibly stressful. 

In 2023, a Gallup survey showed that 64% of companies increased the workloads of individual employees now that the pandemic was over. 42% of companies also engaged in budget cuts and 51% restructured teams.

Managers are grappling with lower budgets and new team structures, while employees have increased workloads. This is the perfect recipe for manager stress and burnout.

What managers are up against

Managers are generally hard-working people. They often started as employees and worked their way up or were hired as managers for their work ethics and unique skill sets. While it is impossible to make a sweeping statement that is true for any class of employee, managers are usually the best people companies have in their ranks.

The first step to helping managers is to understand all the unique problems they are facing. One of the most significant factors managers are up against is the slump in employee engagement. Getting deadlines and large projects from supervisors is stressful enough as it is. It is a big ask to take those directions and get an unmotivated, disengaged team of employees to put in their best work to get it done. But that is what managers are asked to do every day.

The most prominent causes of employee disengagement are:

  1. Unclear expectations at work.
  2. A feeling of disconnection from the mission or purpose of the organization.
  3. Lack of opportunities for employee development.

These three points are the main drivers of disengagement for employees. They also apply to managers.

The Solution

It’s easy to say that managers have elevated pay and status to handle the above-listed problems for their respective companies. After all, they were hired to manage people. While that is true, a lot can be done to increase how happy and effective managers are in the workplace. And this is in the best interest of senior executives and supervisors. Happy and productive managers = happy and productive employees.

Considering the focal points of employee disengagement, the data relating to budget cuts, and employee demands, there is a magic bullet that actively helps managers and all employees to perform better in the workplace.

Mentoring programs are a Swiss army knife solution to helping managers and employees across the boards. They can be tailored to address the unique challenges managers face and directly address the three main drivers of employee disengagement.

Mentoring programs create a supportive network where managers can seek guidance, share experiences, and find solutions to the dilemmas they encounter. It’s not always easy to talk to a direct superior about work-related issues, and having a mentor is a safe haven. The mentoring relationship is much different than the professional one a supervisor shares with a mentor. Through mentoring, managers can gain insight from experienced professionals and learn new strategies for handling their teams.

Mentoring is cost-effective and leverages the vast quantity of knowledge already existing within a company’s ranks. Coupled with powerful software, mentoring programs can change the entire workplace culture and turn a stressful environment into an engaged and productive one.

Wisdom Share Mentoring Software

Our powerful software seamlessly integrates mentoring into any organization. It can be tailored to handle any unique challenge. It offers a range of key features and benefits designed to drive measurable results. 

  1. Customizable Matching Algorithms: Wisdom Share employs cutting-edge matching algorithms that efficiently pair mentors and mentees based on shared goals, interests, and expertise. This ensures optimal mentor-mentee matches, facilitating productive and impactful relationships right from the start. 
  2. Seamless Communication and Collaboration: Our software provides user-friendly communication tools, including chat, video conferencing, and virtual meeting spaces, enabling mentees and mentors to connect and collaborate effortlessly. This seamless communication fosters a sense of belonging and support, facilitating valuable knowledge transfer and growth. 
  3. Goal Tracking and Progress Measurement: With Wisdom Share, mentees can set clear objectives, track their progress, and receive feedback from their mentors. This feature enhances accountability, motivates mentees to strive for their goals, and enables mentors to provide valuable guidance and support along the way. 
  4. Resource Library and Knowledge Sharing: Our software offers a comprehensive resource library, housing a vast array of valuable materials, articles, and best practices. Mentees can access this centralized repository to expand their knowledge, gain insights, and continuously develop their skills, promoting ongoing learning and growth. 
  5. Data-driven Insights and Analytics: Wisdom Share provides data-driven insights and analytics that offer a deep understanding of mentoring relationships, program effectiveness, and the impact on key metrics. These actionable insights empower organizations to make informed decisions, optimize their mentoring programs, and measure the tangible benefits they bring to employee engagement, retention, and overall company performance. 

Mentor Resources can help any company or government agency to leverage technology to create tailored career development programs that are cost-effective. Our mentoring software - Wisdom Share is a cloud-based program that is simple and comes with guided workflows. Included are tools for administrators to attract, enroll, connect, and guide participants. We also provide analytics to ensure you can monitor your employee development program and easily see ROI metrics.

Reach out to us today for a Free Demonstration of our software.

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