One in four Line Managers said their team size had grown since before the Covid-19 pandemic, according to new research from Legal & General Group Protection.

Over two in five (43%) UK Line Managers in businesses with more than 250 employees are managing teams in excess of 10 people, with 5 percent of those managing 50+ people.

Yet, there is not sufficient support for Line Managers.

As noted by Vanessa Sallows, Claims & Governance Director at Legal & General Group Protection, it’s “broadly agreed that line managers are the glue that keeps an organisation running.”

 

So, what can be done to assist them?

When Line Managers were asked what would most improve their wellbeing, in first place came ‘more flexible working options’ (41%), followed by ‘recognition of work well done – informal and/or formal’ (37%) then ‘more flexible employee benefits, suited to my needs’ (35%).

Line Manager respondents also said the top way in which they could be helped to improve the wellbeing support they provided to their teams was ‘recognition from the top that managers are employees and have wellbeing needs too’ (41%) followed by ‘clear direction from the top on company purpose and values and how wellbeing fits in’ (38%).

 

Intermediaries should be well placed to support Line Manager wellbeing

Legal & General recommend that insurers should be well placed to support Line Manager wellbeing. These could include, for example:

  • Personalised care pathway support: multidisciplinary team support where an individual is absent and claiming on group income protection – anything from Long Covid and musculoskeletal pathways to mental health, work-related stress and cancer.
  • Everyday wellbeing support: access to various services, whether claiming or not, such as the Employee Assistance Programme and Care Concierge service; the latter providing support to unpaid working carers who need help to investigate care options for a loved one.
  • The Be Well hub: tools to help employers create or update their wellbeing policies; free wellbeing resources for employees; practical ideas for quick wins and implementation, plus on-demand webinars, a risk audit tool and signposting support.
  • Communication Toolkit: a step-by-step guide to help make wellbeing communication to teams more tailored and relevant.

 

Vanessa Sallows, Claims & Governance Director, Legal & General Group Protection:

“Common-sense dictates that the larger and more fragmented teams become, the harder it is for the Line Manager to monitor and meet everyone’s needs, keep motivating the team, and importantly avoid neglecting their own wellbeing.  If this fine balance becomes destabilised, there is a knock-on effect on everyone involved, including across recruitment, retention and productivity.

“Group risk intermediaries and insurers are well placed to support Line Manager wellbeing, in turn helping them give their best to their teams. Achieving this requires looking at group income protection differently, getting into all the aspects of support provided and, in particular, where there is multidisciplinary expertise that can help them work through what can be complex issues in terms of workforce wellbeing.

“This starts with management support in the shape of help to carry out stress risk assessments and it extends to direct access to vocational clinical specialists where managers might have specific concerns about an employee. Also, wellbeing training and toolkits, in addition to personalised care pathways will help. As industry body GRiD2 recently said, it would be wise for employers to review their wellbeing provision against GIP embedded services.”

Improving Line Manager support will not only adhere to wellbeing concerns, but will improve the overall productivity of teams.