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Bridging the gap from manager to people manager

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In the last six months, the Great Resignation has made headline after headline. The feeling of loneliness, stress and being burnt out has become commonplace for employees across the globe.

As a result, business leaders have quickly realised the negative impact the pandemic has had on their workforce and there has been a greater emphasis on rectifying this through bringing the human aspect back into the workplace.


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Typically, employers are focused on the 'money-makers' of the business, the products and solutions, that they often forget that it is the 'human' perspective that actually drives growth.

When employees are empowered to do their best work, then the business will reap the rewards. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it is the importance of allowing employees to feel successful and supported in the workplace. After all, when employees thrive, businesses thrive too.

Therefore, managers can no longer have tunnel vision on business growth by treating their colleagues like machines. They must put in the work to understand what drives their employees and how they can get the most out of them. In this way, the role of the manager is evolving to become a 'people manager' too.

Is this the end of separating work and personal life?

It’s clear that, the inability to support an employees’ individual career journey, is the silent killer of employee retention.

Therefore, it’s crucial for managers to take the time to understand what makes their employees tick, how they want to progress in the business, what they enjoy and what makes them human.

Blurring the boundaries of work and personal life, should no longer be frowned upon, it’s what will make employees feel engaged.

When work feels like a routine and your employees feel replaceable like a cog in a corporate machine – something has gone wrong. Rather than the traditional staff benefits, the most important perk will be investing in employees.

By listening to their needs, supplying opportunities of growth, and ensuring employees have the tools and technologies they need to do their best work and feel happier is crucial.

In fact, 85% of people want technology to help define their future by identifying skills they need to develop, recommending ways to learn new skills; and providing next steps to progress towards their career goals.

Managers will hold a dual function in the workplace – they will be both a mentor and part of the HR function. It’s more important than ever, that they have the full picture when it comes to their employees to enable them to make better, more informed decisions that lead to a fulfilled and engaged workforce.

During the pandemic, employees found their voice, became more empowered, and are now speaking up for what they want, resulting in a cultural reset in the way employees think about the meaning of the workplace. It’s time for managers to take this perspective and put it into meaningful action.

Sarah Henry is VP of HR Solutions EMEA at Oracle