How to Help Managers Combat a Lack of Resources

How to Help Managers Combat a Lack of Resources
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People Managers Are Overwhelmed
Being a people manager has always been a tough job.  The challenges caused by COVID have made it even more challenging to lead and manage people.  In fact, recent research of over 800 managers by our management experts found that insufficient staffing resources, constant change, and inefficient processes are the top three inhibitors to manager productivity — especially for middle managers. How can you help managers combat a lack of resources?

  • 70% are spread across too many projects
  • 66% have too many goals and have experienced burnout in the last 12 months
  • 60% report having too many priorities
  • 59% have unclear priorities

We know from our new manager training data that managers’ workload and level of stress has increased as people leaders strive to meet raising performance expectations with less help. But managers cannot lead, manage, and coach their teams to higher performance and engagement if they’re playing catch-up all the time.

What You Can Do to Help Managers Combat a Lack of Resources
With all of the change and disruption at work, you may not be able to solve all the problems managers face, but you can improve the situation for your customers, your employees, and your bottom line. Here are three suggestions that can help managers combat a lack of resources:

  1. Prioritize Clients and Stakeholders
    Similar to projects, not all clients or stakeholders are of equal importance.  From a client perspective, scrutinize and rationalize your ideal target client list.   Then ensure that sales managers focus most efforts on your most strategic accounts.

    From a stakeholder perspective, face the fact that not all internal customers are truly equal. Review your stakeholder list thoughtfully based upon those that have the most influence or power over team success. Then treat them accordingly in terms of time and involvement.

  2. Prioritize Projects
    We know from decades of project post mortem data that it is not easy for even the most experienced project managers to manage multiple projects without going crazy.  We also know from our organizational alignment research that strategic clarity and focus accounts for 31% of the difference between high and low performing teams.

    By definition, not all projects are of equal importance. Help your managers to focus only on what matters most and delay or cancel what you can. Reduce the number of projects to match the resources and skills at hand. 

  3. Improve Efficiency
    Conduct a thorough current state analysis to identify how you can reduce tedious, repetitive, and often unnecessary tasks that could better be handled by new technology, different approaches, or smarter spans of control.

    While being a player-coach is a reality for most people managers, you should simplify and eliminate any managerial duties or company processes that do not directly add value.

The Bottom Line
Do your managers know how to get more done with less?  Is your business adjusting to the lack of talent resources and increasing customer expectations? Invest the time to make life easier for your middle manager or suffer the consequences.

To learn more about how to set managers up for success, download 3 Must-Have Ingredients of High Performing Teams for New Managers

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