Employee Engagement

Empowering managers to thrive during times of crisis

11 April 2023

April is Stress Awareness Month, and whilst we’re producing resources and insights to help employers look after their whole workforce, today’s blog will focus on supporting and empowering managers. Read on to discover how to help your managers and team leaders thrive during crisis and uncertainty.

We’re currently experiencing a cost-of-living crisis, causing the nations’ stress levels to rise. The rise in job vacancies has created a war for talent, with businesses having to do more to retain their people. 


Your managers will feel the impact of these two factors alone.


Still, there’s more...


One way to encourage employees to stay or join a business is by creating a competitive employee value proposition (EVP) comprised of a competitive salary, employee benefits and career development opportunities.


57% of HR professionals ‘feel pressured by senior leadership to cut down on benefits.’


Businesses are asking managers and HR professionals to do more to support, engage and retain their people whilst saving the business money.


It’s hardly surprising that we need to focus on empowering and supporting our managers.


Focus on skills 


Employees will turn to their manager when they’re struggling with work, have a grievance, and to discuss their personal struggles.


This is the ideal scenario – where a culture of communication is strong.


As is expected in a more senior role, your department managers often take on the stress of their team members. Ensure your managers’ career development and training plans provide them with the people and conflict resolution skills needed to handle any matters brought to their attention confidently.


Align & communicate


When the whole organisation is aligned, your managers can deliver and communicate business changes and new initiatives more effectively. Don’t put your managers in a position where teams are given different messages.


Disconnect negatively impacts businesses. Your wider workforce must view their managers as support - an extension of their voice. The risk is that an ‘us and them’ mentality may be created, leading to engagement and productivity issues.


Ensure all managers are aligned and supported to be best positioned to represent business leaders whilst championing their teams.




Whilst it’s important that there’s consistency and that your team managers are aligned, it’s essential to remember that autonomy also matters. According to Pink’s motivational theories, autonomy is one of the three drivers of motivation.


Don’t take managers for granted. They’re more senior but still human and have the same needs as the rest of your workforce. Build trust and boost engagement by allowing them to individualise their approach and managerial styles.


It’s true that we’ve said that it’s important to be unified, but as long as managers align with the company’s core values and messages, they should be encouraged to be personable.


Recognise & reward


Reward and recognition are just as crucial to retaining and engaging your managers as the rest of your employees. You may set them different goals and targets, but where they take time to recognise their team members, their superiors should be recognising them.


Here at Pluxee UK, we encourage employers to personalise their employee rewards, taking time to find out what matters most to your people. However, as we said at the start, we're experiencing a cost-of-living crisis, and we know from speaking with our clients and employees that financial rewards go a long way to easing employees’ financial burdens.




Our eVouchers are a popular choice when employers want to reward their employees financially because they’re so inclusive and flexible. Whatever an employee’s position, hobbies or lifestyle preferences, they can make good use of an eVoucher.


With over 80 brands and 100 retailers to choose from, our eVouchers can be spent either online or in-store. Delivered digitally, they’re an environmentally friendly way to give instant gratification.


Pluxee Card 


Another way to deliver instant cash rewards to your managers and employees is via our Pluxee Card.


As part of our Spree card solutions, there are multiple ways to embed our recognition prepaid card into your business. Some organisations only use Spree as a reward mechanism without utilising the cashback option. However, in the current climate, many employees need assistance making their monthly wage stretch further. Businesses need to get creative, using their reward and recognition strategy to boost employees’ financial wellbeing by making cash bonuses work even harder.


Our Pluxee Card can also earn cashback for your people as they spend. We have over 80 of your employees’ favourite high street, and high-end retailers signed up to our scheme, with some offering up to 15% cashback.


When you enable cashback earnings on your recognition prepaid card, you’re getting more from your employee rewards strategy, which is perfect when you’re working with tight budgets.


Support mental wellbeing


Here at Pluxee UK, we encourage employers to support the mental wellbeing of all their employees. However, for reasons discussed in this article, your managers may need more help to boost their resilience.


Encourage your managers to take time for themselves by fostering a culture of work-life balance and through flexible and hybrid working.


Only 2% of employees feel comfortable discussing their mental wellbeing with their employer. Your managers, who may feel it’s their role to cope, contribute to this figure.


An Employee Assistance Programme gives your people a safe space to turn and speak in confidence and confidentially. Our EAP includes membership to My Best Possible Self, so support is available at the touch of a button. Additionally, employees can access BACP-accredited counsellors 24/7, 365 days a year, via phone or email, with face-to-face appointments also available.


Empower managers to thrive with Pluxee UK


Some of the best ways to support your managers only require cultural changes: building trust, communicating effectively, and nurturing autonomy. Others require a commitment to upskilling your managers to empower them to face whatever may come their way.


However, when more is needed, Pluxee UK can help. We’ve been supporting employers for over 60 years, and our mission is to help you help your people by embedding a range of award-winning employee benefits into your business.

Arrange a call with an employee engagement and wellbeing expert to find out more.