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<strong>New Year’s Resolutions for Managers</strong>

The start of the year is a time for reflection and change; often, we make personal resolutions, potentially to start exercising, find a new hobby or make changes to our careers.Of course, resolutions can also transfer into our professional lives, and while the first of January has been and gone, it is not too late for managers to adopt new and beneficial work practices. If you have not done so already, here at ViewHR, we would like to suggest five worthwhile resolutions to managers for the New Year.

1 – Regular Feedback

We all like to receive positive feedback. It gives us the motivation to continue, it lets us know that we are doing an excellent job, and importantly it makes us feel good. Equally, it is just as beneficial to receive constructive feedback or areas to work on. Potentially, we did not know that we were doing something wrong, or the feedback we are given could make our work even better. Feedback is key!

Managers, make it your first resolution in 2023 to give feedback. Use regular one-to-one sessions, or as-and-when the need arises, to provide prompt positive and constructive feedback. Never allow situations to grow out of control.

Key tips to giving feedback:

  • Regularly provide genuine, specific, well-thought-out positive feedback.
  • Developmental feedback should be presented constructively; do not focus on the past but on what can be done differently in the future.
  • Aim to nip poor behaviours in the bud to prevent festering.
2 – Return to Work Interviews

Return-to-work interviews are usually conducted following a period of sickness, no matter the length. The interviews determine why the sickness occurred, how long the employee was absent from work, did the individual follow reporting processes and seek medical advice, and what the organisation can do to help the staff member return to work.

Why are return-to-work interviews helpful? Here are four good reasons why interviews are beneficial:

  • They allow managers to determine if there are any trends in absences;
  • They are a private opportunity for the employee to freely express themselves (there may be something happening in the individual’s life which is having an effect on them);
  • Allows the organisation to determine whether reasonable adjustments can be made;
  • If absences are persistent, the return-to-work process may function as a deterrent.

Managers, make it your resolution in 2023 to conduct return-to-work interviews.

Key tips when conducting interviews:

  • Consistency is the key. Hold interviews with all members of staff following each absence.
  • Actively listen during the interview; the individual may need your help.
  • Hold the meeting in a private location and remind the staff member that your conversation is confidential.
3 – Making Notes After Meetings

“I didn’t say that!” or “You never told me!” Have you heard those phrases? Unfortunately, because notes were not taken of the conversation, it is your word against theirs. For 2023, managers should be keen to take brief notes of meetings or conversations and place them on the employee’s file.

Managers do not have to record every conversation they have with employees. Instead, notes should be taken of the more important discussions. For instance, when giving constructive or positive feedback, when informing an employee that their conduct or performance needs to improve, when an informal agreement has been made or comments about their physical or mental health.

Notes should be concise, factual, and clearly express any agreement or decision. Why? Notes can be relied upon (to a certain extent) in disciplinary or grievance processes; they can be used to back up or rebuff arguments, and they can show that proper informal processes were followed.

Key tips when making notes:

  • Remember that the rules and principles of GDPR apply when making notes, including the right to make a subject access request;
  • Add the date and time of the meeting;
  • Notes should be written promptly following the meeting to ensure everything relevant is captured;
  • Once notes are written, forward them to the employee in a follow-up email.
4 – Own Wellbeing

Often it is extremely easy to forget about our own health and well-being. The primary function of managers is to deal with the needs of others, to supervise, care for, and resolve any concerns or issues. At times, the role of a manager can become burdensome.

What are the repercussions of managers not looking after their own health? In the first instance, managers may face burnout which in turn affects performance and could lead to long-term absences. Managers should be worthy of imitation, and if they themselves are not living a balanced healthy lifestyle, their direct reports will no doubt follow suit – creating a culture of burnout. With high-stress rates and poor health, the organisation may face an increased turnover of staff.

Managers will do well to practice what they preach. Aim to have a good work-life balance, use all your annual leave entitlement, make use of any employee assistance programme, follow the five steps to mental well-being and endeavour to leave work at work.

5 – Do Not Struggle Alone

Managers can feel they are expected to be all things to all people, a jack of all trades; this notion is clearly impossible. While managers should have a decent understanding of employment law and follow the correct processes, there will be times when they reach their knowledge or experience limit; beyond the limit, any further action or decisions could have profound consequences.

Instead of struggling alone or remaining quiet, managers should make it their resolution to speak to their HR representative as soon as possible, providing all the facts and relevant details to date. HR personnel are trained and have the experience to oversee a multitude of situations, providing managers with clear guidance and a road map forward. Guidance will be legally sound, ensuring that best practice is followed. They will be thankful for you seeking their advice early in the process.

Managers, make it your aim to follow the five suggested resolutions for 2023, and we wish you a happy and successful year ahead.

Here at ViewHR, we have a team of highly skilled, experienced, and qualified HR personnel. We would be happy to provide you with timely, ‘jargon-free’ advice and guidance. Please get in touch with a member from ViewHR today.