We know that managers are integral in making things work for working parents. Working parents tell us that the line manager is the single most important external factor that can make or break them.

We asked our working parents to share what a good manager during a pandemic looks like based on their own experiences. Here are the five most common responses:

  • They can see the juggling and adjust expectations accordingly and they do this frequently as the situation changes all the time due to changing Covid-19 guidelines, school instability and reductions in childcare capacity.

  • They keep in touch – a lot! They schedule it in. They can’t rely on the casual chats in the office and therefore make time to keep communication strong.

  • They provide the tools and training needed for remote working. There is nothing more frustrating that being asked to maintain productivity levels achieved in the office without the same tech. Poor technology should not hold anyone back.

  • They make it clear as to what they expect to be delivered rather than micromanage. They trust the working parent to manage their time and to deliver their work. The levels of trust are more extreme in both directions.

  • They communicate with the rest of the team when a working parents role changes or hours are altered and manage the impact on the team.

And the number one response to the question of what a poor manager looks like during a pandemic?

When there is a gap between intention and reality. When a manager sees the struggle, says they understand but doesn’t make any changes. That is worse than pretending the problem doesn’t exist .

What do you think defines a good manager right now?