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Introduction to line management

Why is this line manager briefing relevant during these times of change?

Many organisations are experiencing a period of extreme change brought about by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and, for some employers, this has added to challenges that were already at play due to Brexit.

In such uncertain times, line managers are more important than ever in developing, supporting and retaining talented individuals in the organisation. As more traditional management styles, characterised by a firm and directive approach, ebb increasingly away, and as more of us work flexibly, the need for line managers to listen effectively and build strong relationships based on mutual trust becomes increasingly important if organisations are to manage and retain talent.

During these times, employees will often look to their line manager to help them manage change and deal with pressures that might otherwise have been considered beyond the remit of work, such as an ever-evolving "new normal" where work and home blend. Making sure that managers themselves are emotionally resilient will help them to help their team deal with change.

This briefing is designed to help a new line manager make the transition into management, including in a fast-changing environment where engagement is key to retaining talent both now, and in the future, as the social and economic situation evolves.


Line management is often seen as an obvious career step, likely to result in a salary increase and more responsibility. However, you should think carefully before you embark on this path. Being technically very good at your job does not necessarily mean you are suited to being a line manager.

As a line manager you will need to coach, help, support and give direction to ensure others perform to meet the needs and objectives of the organisation, rather than relying on your own technical expertise.

Management can be exciting and rewarding and provide you with a career path with regular opportunities for personal development and growth. However, it is also challenging and requires good interpersonal skills, perseverance and a learning mindset.

This briefing sets out what is required to step into line management and what makes a good manager, and provides practical guidance for employees transitioning into a managerial role.