Interview. Rmi Diennet, Director of Badenoch + Clark in Spain Adecco Group: “The keys necessary to manage teams in the medium and long term will be based on the soft skills of their leaders”
Leadership skills are imposed as one of the key qualities of the “new normal” when managing teams and organizations. The role of the leader is essential in this new period and for this reason, from RRHHDigital we spoke with Rmi Diennet, director of Badenoch + Clark in Spain of the Adecco group, to analyze the current context around the leadership in Spain, after the ‘II Barmetro Badenoch + Clarke on Executive Leadership in Spain ‘.
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1. How has the coronavirus crisis changed the demand for leaders and managers? Has it increased, decreased …?
Demand from executives and managers has remained stable during the coronavirus crisis, except for the first weeks of the pandemic during which there was a significant halt in research. This was due to the need to make strategic decisions to deal with the situation, which necessarily resulted in a delay in the implementation of changes in the upper layers of the structures.
In the following months, we saw demand pick up again, although the reasons for looking for these profiles have changed compared to the pre-crisis period.
“The reduction of middle management has given way to more flat structures, with fewer hierarchies and greater contact between senior managers and their teams, increasing efficiency and agility in decision-making, but also the level exposure and attrition of executives and managers ”
The skills sought in these profiles were in many cases the main difference compared to the previous stages.
2. And in terms of the qualities required, what are companies looking for in a leader in this “new reality”?
The health and economic crisis that we have experienced has involved a new form of management and a type of leadership that values the ability to adapt to any situation and rapid and agile decision-making in the face of a more analytical profile.
While it is true that no manager had experience in managing this type of situation, managers who have managed to stay motivated and transmit this positivity to employees will emerge stronger from this crisis.
“Companies in this” new reality “strongly value profiles with strong emotional intelligence who show a certain flexibility in the management of a company”
Thus, managers who rely on talent, digitization, conciliation and employee flexibility will be able to retain their workforce and thus differentiate themselves from the competition.
3. In the Badenoch + Clarke Barometer II on Executive Leadership in Spain, executives say that productivity has been seriously affected, in this regard, what difficulties have existed for the management of executive leadership teams?
The months of confinement, the restrictions and the successive waves of the disease have been a challenge for the management of the teams. To overcome the situation, companies and managers have pushed through many changes.
50.3% of managers and executives focused their efforts on diversifying or reinventing their business models, significantly modifying their production lines, adopting communication strategies through different channels, extending or creating new their presence on the internet, the automation of a large part of its processes and the integration of Big Data and Business Intelligence tools, among other actions.
In addition, another of the management strategies implemented was the reduction of the number of employees and the reduction of staff working hours. In this regard, one can refer to the calculations of the International Labor Organization which indicate that the pandemic reduced the number of hours worked by 8.8% throughout 2020.
Finally, it should be noted that:
“65.3% of executives consulted for this study affirm that the productivity of their employees has been seriously affected by COVID-19 and that they have never experienced a situation of such complexity before”
4. Turning now to one of the big issues you have had to face, how positive and important has the work of managers been in managing the health, both physical and mental, of the people. employees?
Among the main strategies carried out by managers to cope with the effects of COVID-19, we can highlight the reduction of staff working hours, a strategy that is in line with what is also done in other countries. to cope with the situation and ensure the physical health of the employees.
In this regard, managers are faced with the objective of improving the working conditions of their employees at a time when proximity in personal treatment, trust and recognition are presented as key factors to achieve their satisfaction.
“Concepts such as Psychological Safety – that team members feel safe, accepted and respected – are increasingly on the agendas of major organizations in the industry.”
In this way, managers make sure that their employees are themselves and give their best version for the benefit of the organization.
In addition, it is also important to take into account the skills that managers need to have in order to subsequently ensure the physical and mental health of their employees, as well as economic recovery. For this, a large part of managers consider it vital to stay motivated and to transmit this positivity to the staff, as well as to have a great ability to solve problems quickly and with agility.
5. What did the managers miss during these months?
According to the study carried out, it was found that 49.5% of managers admit that if they had had to relive the same situation, knowing what they now know, they would have made other decisions.
“Many managers consider that they need greater and better access to investment, financing and credit to support companies in this crisis”
On the management side, accompanying measures were also lacking for the training of employees in the technology, as well as better training of staff in terms of soft skills, as they consider that this would have helped them to cope. to the changes COVID has brought about. -19.
Finally, we must underline the difference between the managers of 100% private companies and those who operate in public companies, since in the case of the managers of private companies, what was most lacking is this increased access to investment and credit. , while SOE executives focus on helping businesses digitize.
6. In the barometer, it is said that half of the managers would have made different decisions if they had gone back… How do they admit to being wrong and what would they change?
Within this group, the percentage of those who would have preferred to reinvent the business model soared (69%) and those who would have increased the workforce (13.4%) and those who would have reduced their workforce fell (14.1 %) and who would have reduced wages (3.5%).
7. Speaking of the present and the future, what challenges does leadership face? What will be the keys to managing teams in the medium and long term?
As mentioned in the “Badenoch + Clark Barometer II on Executive Leadership in Spain ‘” and based on the fact that in a world as changing and unpredictable as the one COVID-19 will leave us, having leaders who mark the right path will be the key both for the good development of society and for businesses.
From what they have learned over these months, their ability to come up with new approaches and ideas, their correct decision making and their ability to adapt to new customer needs, business survival depends to a large extent. in the face of possible new crises.
For 45.4% of executives consulted by B + C, commitment to talent, training and flexibility with employees will be determining factors for the success of their companies in the years to come.
“The keys necessary to manage teams in the medium and long term will be based on the soft skills of their leaders”
41.6% of managers consider the ability to adapt to be the most important skill in the changing environment in which we live. While 33% appeal to the need to stay motivated and convey this positivity to staff. And 31.6% think the ability to solve problems quickly and with agility is very important. Being the skill least appreciated by Spanish managers and directors, analytical capacity with support of 13.7%.