Stop, Look, and Listen: The challenges for next generation management teams

Recently we talked about building Next Generation Organisations and how business leaders can embrace uncertainty and lead with confidence. But what about the wider management team? What challenges do they face in these rapidly evolving times?

The first key thing to realise is that businesses are nothing without its greatest asset: its people. And facilitating a culture that allows all employees to bring their best selves and ideas into the workplace, with the tools, resources and skills everybody needs to be productive and innovative, should be a top priority.

The pandemic brought several issues to light when it comes to how we approached work. In order for companies to “build back better”, the root cause of these issues need to be addressed.


ensuring inclusion to allow for diversity


It doesn’t take a genius to realise that the UK still has a problem with institutionalised racism and prejudice. After the disgusting online treatment of three Black members of the England football team, even after the events surrounding the murder of George Floyd in 2020, it’s vital for management to eradicate unacceptable behaviours that exclude certain groups.

This, of course, goes beyond ethnicity – managers must be mindful of other groups that are underrepresented in the organisation too.

Actions include learning – and unlearning – about the unconscious biases we all hold, stamping out microaggressions and adopting zero tolerance on jokes and “banter” that may alienate individuals. Your culture is an amalgamation of the worst behaviours you tolerate, so once inclusion becomes a priority, then retention of a diverse team becomes much easier.


managing return-to-work anxiety


A recent survey by CV-Library, which you can find in this article, has found 55 per cent of UK workers feel anxious about returning to the office. As restrictions start to lift across the UK (at the time of writing, England has lifted all restrictions around mask-wearing and social distancing), despite cases of Covid rapidly rising, naturally people are concerned.

The same article mentioned in the previous paragraph goes on to say that in relation to employee fears of returning to work, listening to these fears is crucial: “It’s a real challenge to management to live up to some of the things they’ve always said they’ve believed in… It’s a reality check to flexibility and empathy – all these things managers have been told to display, with mixed results. Now the responsibility of the management is even greater.”


addressing the digital skills gap


Demand for skilled individuals in the tech and digital space has outstripped supply in the UK. With the acceleration of digital transformation projects resulting from the pandemic, it’s up to managers to tally up the skills and resources needed to complete these projects and to future-proof your business.

This will require investment into your workforce to level up their skills as well as making good hiring choices that will ensure a culture of innovation for your business to survive.


how we can help


Whilst leaders set the tone for the culture of their organisations, it falls to management to ensure that culture is put in place throughout its ranks. At Culture Consultancy, we have two valuable services that empower managers to set the right tone and manage their teams with confidence.


manager training and development


Effective managers who can support, coach, inspire and engage their people in their work will be the route to greater employee productivity and performance. Those that can lead by example, espouse the culture you wish to embed and allow, champion and encourage others to do the same will create a team culture across the organisation and help build the platform for any culture or transformation initiative.

Just as importantly, ensuring employee wellbeing and the fulfilment of the desired employee experience are also key areas of responsibilities for managers.  With remote working being so common now, creating a culture of trust between individuals, teams and functions is absolutely critical, all grounded in open, healthy and positive relationships.

Whether your managers have been recently promoted or are those who need to up their game due to a recent change, our manager and advanced manager programmes will support them with topics such as:

  • Managing remote teams.
  • Coaching for performance.
  • Employee Wellbeing.
  • Managing upwards.
  • Performance feedback.
  • Building high performance teams.
  • Powerful and engaging communication.
  • Resilience and Adaptability.
  • Building innovative & collaborative teams.
  • Impact and influence.
  • Digital Savvy for Managers.
  • Managing in a VUCA World.
  • Stakeholder management.
  • Difficult conversations.
  • Effective delegation and empowerment.


culture coach


Culture Coach delivers specialist support to companies delivering culture transformation programmes. It provides a combination of advice and guidance as well as practical completion of some discreet pieces of work.


types of tasks that culture coaches can complete:


  • Practical advice and guidance to the culture project sponsor.
  • Interventions with key stakeholders/influencers to help shape and lead the culture change.
  • Critique of documentation and proposed approaches.
  • Facilitating leadership team sessions.
  • Shaping implementation / embedding plans and activities.
  • Preparing specific deliverables (either 1stdrafts or full versions).
  • Identifying skills, mindset, behaviours gaps.
  • Upskilling managers and staff.
  • Advising and writing engaging communications regarding the new culture.


Get in touch with us to discuss your coaching and development needs for management teams.