Future managers for a Post Pandemic Workplace
By Ciaran O’Reilly, Develop Potential, April 2021
What are the skills required of the ‘Next Generation’ of people managers and first line supervisors? What is changing in a post pandemic work environment? What are the new expectations of organisations, their customers and their employees after a period of major disruption? How will first time managers be ready to lead and inspire their staff in an environment of hybrid office and remote working arrangements?
These are the questions many organisations and businesses are seeking to answer as we enter a new era of workplace management. The pandemic caused significant changes for the workforce – many forced to find new work and new careers, many forced to work from home and nearly all of us rethinking our priorities and ambitions. There is a huge disparity of experiences – some thrived, but many found themselves on government supports and face the challenge of returning to the workforce. Our youngest generation of new workers probably had the most bizarre experience of starting work – those that were lucky enough to start their career entered work environments “virtually” – with limited ability to connect with their new colleagues and managers.
As we start to emerge from the pandemic, what we consider now as the ‘new normal’ will likely change again into many ‘next normals’, all different depending on industry, geography and nature of services and products supplied by businesses. Developing new and enhanced people management skills will be critical to adapt to whatever the work environment looks like in a year’s time. Flexibility, resilience and greater understanding on how to get the best from people will be vital skills. This will require an understanding of the traditional skills and principles in managing the work of others, but also a new emphasis on getting the right balance between ‘Task’ and ‘People’ focus.
The World Economic Forum predicts a greater need for people skills and so called ‘soft’ skills in an era of rising Artificial Intelligence and automation. The pandemic has amplified the need to develop these skills. Being a hard worker with good experience and job knowledge is no longer a sufficient basis for promotion to people management. It is critical to upskill and refresh our learning on what will become ‘best practice’ management and leadership styles and behaviours.
Top 10 Skills for 2025
Learnful’s programme for First Line managers is ideally timed to develop these skills for a new generation of managers and supervisors. Delivered online-live with diverse and multicultural participants, it is a great way to access the latest thinking on how we will manage in the ‘next normal’ – whatever that may become! Further details on the programme can be found here.