Line managers wellbeing at risk as teams grow: Legal & General

Hemma Visavadia
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Line managers wellbeing at risk as teams grow: Legal & General

More than two in five (43%) UK line managers have seen their teams size grow since before the pandemic, affecting their overall wellbeing according to new research by Legal & General Group Protection.

The Legal & General Wellbeing at Work Barometer found that 5% of line managers surveyed in businesses with more than 250 employees, were managing over 50 people.

However, 22% of respondents saw the opposite with their team sizes falling to between six to 10 people since before the pandemic.

With line managers taking on more responsibility with team sizes, the provider asked how this had affected their overall wellbeing and what could be done to improve it.

Some 41% of respondents said that more flexible working options would be welcome, followed by 37% who would benefit from recognition in the workplace and finally more flexible employee benefits (35%).

Line managers noted that the "top way" to help improve their wellbeing was through recognition from the top that "managers are employees and have wellbeing needs too" (41%) followed by a "clear direction from the top on company purpose and values and how wellbeing fits in" (38%).

Meanwhile, team members have suggested that the main three ways an employer could help with their wellbeing in the workplace was through flexible working arrangements (35%), more open conversations about mental health and wellbeing (32%) as well as leading from the top when it comes to positive wellbeing practices (31%).

The provider noted that support for line managers can be accessed as part of its group income protection policies which includes taking risk assessments using either the HSE Management Standards or the ISO45003 as well as liaising with Occupational Health or Health & Safety if required.

Vanessa Sallows, claims and governance director at Legal & General Group Protection, explained that the larger and more fragmented teams become, the harder it is for the line manager to monitor and meet everyone's needs.

"Group risk intermediaries and insurers are well placed to support line manager wellbeing, in turn helping them give their best to their teams," Sallows commented.

"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."