· News

Helping line managers to support staff better

If you are a director, line manager, supervisor, team leader, or head of department, the way you manage can have an important impact on the health and wellbeing of your employees, how well they do their job, and how well your organisation performs.

Top tips for better management brings guidance and practical resources together from Acas, the Chartered Management Institute, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, the Department for Work and Pensions and the Health and Safety Executive – making it easier for managers to support their staff. Of course, there is a lot of information out there already for line managers but here for the first time we have gathered the best of it together in one place.

The project’s origins can be traced back to Dame Carol Black’s Review of the health of Britain’s working age population, Working for a healthier tomorrow, which linked line manager behaviour to employee health and a more productive workforce.

The resources make, and help you understand, the business case for better management skills, as well as providing practical advice and guidance on how to get the best from your staff, and highlighting 5–a-day essential questions for managers to ask themselves; How do you support your employees? Do you help your employees understand what they need to do? When was the last time you asked employees for their views? How do you manage difficult situations? Are you a good role model?

If you want to know more about the business case then you will find among other resources the CMI’s best practice guide on health and well-being issues which explores the effects of improved health on organisations, strategies for dealing with ill heath, and how policies may be implemented; and the joint CIPD/Acas discussion paper which examines why people management skills are central to attempts to improve UK productivity and outlines the key people management competencies.

If you are looking for more practical advice on day-to-day management then the HSE’s step-by-step guide, Worker involvement-taking action, will show you how you can effectively and efficiently involve your workers in health and safety. The CIPD Report, Learning and the line: the role of line managers in training, learning and development, provides case study research on the crucial role of the line manager in supporting, encouraging and facilitating learning in the workplace. The Acas booklet, Conflict at work, gives an overview of how to manage the relationships in your organisation between individuals, teams, and larger groups of employees including how to recognise signs of conflict, and the issues that cause it. And the Line manager competency indicator tool developed by the HSE with partners is designed to help line managers identify the skills they need to prevent work-related stress affecting the health of their team.

Finally, the site links to additional resources on health and wellbeing such as guidance on fit notes and the Workplace Wellbeing Tool.

To access the site and find out more go to www.acas.org.uk/toptips

Gill Trevelyan is head of good practice services here at Acas