Think Customer – Outputs from our Second Event

We recently held our second in the #THINKCUSTOMER series, where we were joined by some of our key clients from Mars, Nando’s, Nelsons and Mizkan to discuss two very important topics. The first was reviewing crisis management – how we manage and how we react within organisations. With so many challenges in modern day business – HGV driver shortage, supply issues etc – when does a crisis become part of everyday operation and how should you best navigate it? We will provide more insight on this discussion in our next blog next month.

For this blog, we want to focus on the second topic discussed, which delved into the challenges of line managers who need to get the right balance between managing people and delivering their day job.

Sadly, many of us admitted, that when time is tight and the pressure is on to deliver, our one-to-ones with our directs get pushed. We recognised that expectation from businesses has changed and we need to juggle both line manager and delivery responsibilities. Interestingly, with many of those who attended who had field sales experience, we acknowledged that this is where the optimum balance was struck. Area Managers were tasked to manage and support, there was no expectation to call on outlets with your own sales targets. It was all about making the team the best at what they do. When moving to an office-based line manager role, the dynamic changes and you need to do the do as well.

We also recognised that many line managers are ‘given the opportunity’ to line manage to ‘aid in development’ and provide stretch for those that are performing well within role. It is seen as a natural progression of responsibility, but yet, many are not provided with the skills or the know how to manage people effectively. Managing individuals is a skill, every individual is different, and you need to know what makes them tick and how to get the most out of them. There are tactics to do this, and how to best coach and develop individuals, and knowing how to performance manage a direct report, are critical line manager skills. So why do many organisations not provide such training? Surely if your team are performing well, through effective line management, your business will succeed? Focus of capability development is often towards specific skills like selling or negotiating, or leadership programmes, which tend to focus on strategic thought or thought leadership, not the day-to-day core skills of working with and managing others.

At Pure Blue Ocean, we believe that if employees are managed effectively, your business is more likely to succeed through harmonious and collaborative working and where everyone sees their value. Creating a culture where everyone can flourish can only mean your business with grow.

If you would like to support your teams and line managers by providing the skills and the know how to manage effectively contact us at to find out about our Line Manager programmes.

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