Challenges for Management

25 May 2021

How do you maintain culture, loyalty, and relationships when communication takes place primarily at a distance and via online meetings – and often with fluctuating technical quality?

Several of our clients have embarked on completely new managerial challenges which require them to find new and innovative ways of creating, and maintaining, a dynamic and motivating workplace.

In the world after Corona, the pressure on management is rising.

While we are slowly returning to a world that resembles what we knew before Corona, it has become clear to many that it will never be quite the same in terms of ”going to work".

Many of our clients have recognized that the virtual workplace has come to stay. Covid-19 has driven a development leading to major and radical changes in the way we will function in a workplace of the future.

It is the management that is responsible for the strategy and therefore the consequences of their decisions. Management must show the way while also acknowledging that many employees now prefer working from home and enjoy being able to plan their time independently.

It has also become harder to motivate employees to meet physically in the workplace and feel part of a physical work environment.

Some challenges our clients face:

  • An Account Executive in a wholesale company, could not see any reason to meet physically at work anymore.
  • A CFO in a transport group has become accustomed to being in self-isolation in his holiday home, and still wants to isolate himself, even though the CEO wants a closer physical dialogue.
  • A key employee in an IT department could not help his colleagues as the employee had no computer access because he was on a shopping trip during his lunch hour.
  • A director from an insurance company, quite surprisingly, received 2 resignations, from talented employees who at online meetings had seemed highly motivated.

In all the above situations, I must conclude that management has simply not been in close enough contact with the employees. At this time HR departments and management have had to be proactive to ensure that all employees are satisfied and motivated.

Three inspiring solutions where management has been creative and dared to explore new avenues:

  1. A large financial company held social events which were only available to those who have been physically at work.
  2. A larger real estate company delegated to middle managers that they, together with their employees, could decide who and how often employees worked from home
  3. A production company chose to offer 3 optional models regarding how often the employees worked from home and how often they were physically present in the workplace. Employees were allowed to decide for themselves which model they found optimal to enhance their Work-Life-Balance.

Which management skills are in demand?

Corona has forced us to think of other and increasingly digital ways of working. Experts estimate that by 2023, 2/3 of the world's economy will be digital – this is a development that puts future leadership roles under huge pressure.

We have noticed that our clients have started to demand more of these 5 personal competencies:

  1. Innovative leaders who are able to lead others without being physically present
  2. Communicative leaders who can retain a strong personal dialogue
  3. Empathetic leaders with a focus on high employee satisfaction
  4. Enterprising leaders who can go new ways
  5. Leaders who are willing to take risks and can make innovative and proactive decisions.

These observations alone cannot answer my initial question, but maybe they will prompt you to think outside the box in managing your post-Covid business.

Susanne Becker Mikkelsen
Partner Denmark     


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