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With the Covid-19 crisis, employees now want more human and attentive leaders


Employees no longer look primarily for technical or strategic qualities in their manager. (FR? D? RIC CIROU / MAXPPP)

We have heard a lot that the Covid-19 health crisis has enabled us to initiate changes in the world of work faster. This is for example the case with digitalization: we have adopted digital tools, and simplified a lot of processes. In terms of management too, there has been an acceleration.

For about five years, employees had started to say that what they expected from their leaders were human qualities, more than technical or strategic qualities. A request that was very strongly formulated by the youngest in the company. Now, since the passage of the health crisis, this demand has become widespread. This is what emerges from a study conducted by the consultancy firm Boston consulting group, which surveyed 4,000 employees in France, Spain, the United Kingdom and Germany.

Concretely, qhen we ask employees what are the qualities that define good leaders, they put first consideration, empathy, listening, attention to team development, and the ability to question oneself. AT Conversely, at the bottom of the ranking of the sixteen important qualities to make a good chef, come the ability to give meaning, to establish priorities and to take into account customer needs. The heart clearly wins over the head.

And these requests are made by almost everyone. With one caveat, however: when you move up in the hierarchy of the company, technical and strategic qualities come on par with human qualities. But if not, in all countries, among all sexes and in all generations, there is the same call: we want more human leaders.

Are the chefs ready for it? The question is valid. According to Marie Humblot of the Boston consulting group, the leaders certainly understood the message, but not sure that they understood the urgency. They need to be helped, and in this area, the schools that train them have not, according to her, not yet fully taken the turn.

Being a chef is therefore a complex job, and few employees want to do it. This is another striking point of the study. Only 13% of non-managers want to take it to the next level. A very low figure and a constant in the studies carried out by this firm which should be a point of vigilance for companies.

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