The Covid-19 pandemic is an opportunity for the Purchasing Manager to demonstrate his responsiveness and creativity in reinventing a supply chain compatible with the health and economic context. But the Purchasing Manager must also mobilize other skills to provide his team with the support it needs.
In order to preserve the balance and well-being of his employees, the Purchasing Manager must therefore be particularly attentive to his team and attentive to support the most exposed. However, some proven good practices can help him in the animation of his team:
- Strengthen interpersonal communication
- Adapting your management to the situation of each employee
- Mobilizing the collective
Stay in touch with everyone
Whether a co-worker fully or more difficult to appreciate the telework situation, it is important that you take the time to make regular phone contact with everyone.
Remember, moreover, that communication is one of the Essential skills of the Purchasing Manager.
In the particular context of the pandemic, this contact, which is daily for the most exposed, is obviously all the more important.
Take the time to gather everyone’s impressions. In this way, you will help the most vulnerable of your employees to verbalize their anxieties and share their doubts.
Help your team see clearly in the face of the pandemic
Uncertainty, even misinformation, are aggravating factors in the isolation experienced. The Purchasing Manager is not a health expert but he must also bring calm in this area.
To not take risks with the truth, just take two precautions:
- Relay only official messages
- Encourage your employees to rely on objective sources
Identify how each member of your team is stressful
Trust your interlocutors and take the time to get to the bottom of things. Bear in mind that just because someone doesn’t spontaneously approach their evil is at the first urge doesn’t mean everything is fine. Nor that everything goes wrong, for that matter!
For some, an overwork will be a diversion to their concern. For others, an additional source of stress. It’s up to you to understand how each one works. And to have the resources to help him in case of failure.
Devote as much energy as you can to the most fragile
We are not all equal in the face of telework:
- For some employees, this is an old habit
- For other collaborators, it is a pleasure recently discovered
- But for a third category, the remoteness of the office is a pressure
The Purchasing Manager must be a bit of a psychologist to accompany this latter category in particular and help reduce his stress. In order to do this, he must perceive the most sensitive points, which can be induced for example by the family situation of the employee, by the equipment of the home or by the difficulty of organizing.
Lean on the strength of the team
Team meetings have proven successful at the height of the containment to maintain the cohesion of the group and the morale of each.
On the agenda, write a little work, some perspectives and above all a lot of listening and exchanges. It is the place where one collectively expresses one’s fears and doubts to get rid of the burden and come out inflated!
Get your hands on it when the situation may be out of place
While psychological support against stress is part of the Purchasing Manager’s mission, psychiatric care is the responsibility of health professionals. Don’t wait to alert HR if one of your employees seems to be losing your footing.
Also, don’t keep your own concerns to yourself and share them with your No. 1. And bring up your team’s questions at the same time.
In conclusion, maintaining the balance of team members facing the stress of telework requires constant vigilance and the invention of a privileged relationship with each of them. Fortunately, the Purchasing Manager is not destitute to meet this new challenge, which can be based on his interpersonal skills and the dynamics of his team.
The psychological support task of the Purchasing Manager is all the more important as the expectation of the purchasing function remains very high. Indeed, the role of the purchasing team is recognized as capital to accompany the recovery. As demonstrated for example by the article by Julie Dang Tran, Manutan France Managing Director, Purchasing Function, 3 conditions to boost the recovery of activity in the second half of the year.
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