Line managers feel the heat as team sizes increase

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Suzanne Clarkson – Carr Consulting & Communications

April 13, 2022





New research from Legal & General Group Protection has found that more than two in five (43%) of UK line managers in companies with more than 250 employees manage teams of more than 10 people; with 5% of those managing more than 50 people. Overall, one in four supervisors (25%) said their team size had increased since before the pandemic.1

Legal & General Barometer of well-being at work1 found that at the other end of the scale, 34% of line managers had teams of up to five people, and 22% of team sizes fell in the range of six to 10 people.

Line managers: we need help to live, breathe and better contextualize well-being
When line managers were asked what would most improve their well-being, “more flexible work options” (41%), followed by “recognition for a job well done – informal and/or formal” (37% ), followed by “more flexible work options” benefits adapted to my needs” (35%).

Line managers interviewed also said that the best way to help them improve the wellbeing support they provide to their teams was “recognition from above that managers are employees and also have well-being” (41%) followed by “a clear direction from the best on the purpose and values ​​of the company and the place of well-being” (38%).

Team members: we would like to see our managers talk about well-being
Meanwhile, team members said the top three ways an employer could help them feel good at work were: “offer me flexible work arrangements” (35%); “speak more openly as an organization about mental health and the need for well-being for all” (32%); and “lead from the top in positive wellness practices” (31%).

The insurance industry can help line managers support themselves and their teams
Legal & General says insurers and intermediaries are well placed to support the well-being of line managers through services that HR likely already has in place. The provider’s group income protection program includes, for example:

  • Support for carrying out stress risk assessments: using either HSE management standards or ISO45003 and including liaison with occupational health and/or health and safety where necessary.
  • The Be Well helpline: direct telephone access for line managers to professional clinical specialists for early intervention advice and support. For example, how to properly help a team member stay in a job where they might be showing signs of stress and/or having trouble completing all of their tasks.
  • Personalized support for the care pathway: support from a multi-disciplinary team when someone is away and requests group income protection – everything from long Covid and musculoskeletal pathways to mental health, work-related stress and cancer.
  • Daily well-being support: access to various services, claimants or not, such as the employee assistance program and the Care Concierge service; the latter offering support to unpaid carers who need help finding care options for a loved one.
  • The Be Well hub: tools to help employers create or update their wellness policies; free wellness resources for employees; practical ideas for quick wins and implementation, as well as on-demand webinars, a risk audit tool and reporting assistance.
  • Communication Toolkit: a step-by-step guide to help make communicating about wellbeing to teams more relevant and relevant.

Vanessa Sallows, Group Director of Claims and Governance, Legal and General Protection, said: “It is widely accepted that line managers are the glue that keeps an organization running. Common sense dictates that the larger and more fragmented teams become, the more difficult it is for the line manager to monitor and respond to everyone’s needs, to continue to motivate the team and, above all, to avoid neglecting their own good. -be. If this delicate balance is destabilized, there is a ripple effect on everyone involved, including recruitment, retention and productivity. »

1 All data points referenced in this press release are from Legal & General’s Workplace Wellbeing Barometer. The research was conducted by Opinium among 1,000 employees in companies with more than 250 employees, from August 13 to 27, 2021.

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