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3 ways to be a better manager – in good times and tough ones

Good managers can affect employee engagement either positively or negatively in every single working day. They’re a crucial ally for HR and people leaders, and ensuring they’re doing the best job of managing their direct reports is vital. Here we discuss three things that you should start implementing to become a better manager – in both good times and bad.

Help your people build resilience

Keep investing in physical, mental and financial wellbeing for your people – and keep investing in their development. This creates powerful reasons for them to stay with your company, and to work hard. You have a head start if you can build up resilience before the recession hits.

Be open and clear

The temptation is always to sugar-coat messages when times are hard, but your people will respect you more for telling them the truth. Every good leader knows the importance of over-communicating during a crisis, and urgency, transparency, and empathy help people adjust to the constant change that tough times bring. Companies that are already good at two-way communication as part of a broader employee listening strategy start with an advantage here.

Set goals for clarity alignment and focus

Setting clear, frequent, short-term goals will help keep your entire organisation on track – with everyone focused on the same destination, via different routes. This helps motivate and align individual team and department work. In uncertain times, collaborating is more of a human need and can help to ease tension and stress – but it’s only possible if everyone knows what’s expected of them. You need to turn the drumbeat up on this when things aren’t going well, as you have to respond more quickly to external events.


This article contains a snippet from our brand-new eBook, Employee Engagement in Challenging Times. In the eBook, we cover how to help your people navigate these challenging times of recession and the cost-of-living crisis, how to measure and track employee engagement at your organisation, and how to justify an employee experience budget to decision-makers when purse strings are tightening.

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