are managers underpaid? – The Express

are managers underpaid – The Express

Once a leader, always a leader. At school, we see him in the playground dominating the others, gang leader, sometimes a cop, sometimes a thug, in Belmondo mode, to whom nothing can resist. Never a loser, he sets up his own structure when he is overflowing with ideas. When he does not become boss, the manager imposes himself in the hierarchy with a smile or a howl – there are toxic ones – to keep someone else’s company running. First to arrive, last to leave, just like at home: first up, last to bed. It is necessarily him who is asked if two colors match, his theory on polluting vehicles and what he thought of the latest controversial work. A winner who makes a bonfire with two twigs. “During the Indian War/He fought alone against twenty/Having an arrow stuck in one hand/He pulled it out with his other hand/Davy, Davy Crockett, the man who never hurts”, sang Annie Cordy. Due to restructuring and developments, the conductor often has to play his instruments alone. One-man band. And when he no longer has a Stradivarius or a Gibson, his manager asks him to sing a cappella. Fair and without false note. So he thinks about leaving.

“Within the company itself, three internal forces tend to oppose each other: the shareholders who finance it, the customers who support it, and the talents who make it up. Each party has its expectations, its requirements, and exercises its power”, analyzes Pierre Calmard, who has headed Dentsu France since 2020 (The harmonious company. A method to restore meaning to your professional lifeEditions Eyrolles, 2023).

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At the center of the triangle, the manager is the major cog who deals with everyone and distributes tasks upstream and directly. It is his first job to take orders and his second to have them carried out, understand them and transmit them. Organizing the work of others, controlling it, assisting, helping, training, coaching, that’s six additional missions. The “business” manager is also a substitute when he gets his hands dirty or a teacher when he looks for errors in the report. We have ten professions. Psychologist and head of the crying office, he is the acrobat who juggles with contradictory demands, but he is also polyglot with the IT department and the shareholder, world champion of the report delivered on the wire and fighter with his peers to defend a case. Creator. Fifteen positions in one: above all, the manager is a resourceful person who does a lot with a little. Transposed to the company, it is the “parent function” capable of reciting the lesson by checking the notebook, while asking three questions about lunch and noticing that the sneakers are too tight.

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In the company, we add the HR function to find the mathematician who calculates the project, the communicator who sells it, the lawyer who prevents the catastrophe and the business forecaster/meteorologist who suggests the next step in the ear of the boss. Where is the dad-like boss, macho boomer, feet on the desk who is in charge? The 21st century manager has at least twenty jobs. Not to mention the famous soft skills.

Significant economies of scale

How much would the real cost of the manager be if we added up all his tasks, even over a few minutes? 1,000 euros excluding tax per hour for a senior lawyer is 16.60 euros per minute. One less of his jobs and the building shakes; his missions are taken away from him (without entrusting them to someone else) and the organization collapses. If the employer thought analytically, the manager’s salary would explode. He learned ubiquity with distance and face-to-face: +153% meetings per week globally for the average Teams user since the start of the pandemic. It compresses time by producing the energy of the wage bill: Einstein saw it differently. Result: constantly working hard, 53% of managers say they are exhausted at work (Work Trend Index Special ReportMicrosoft, September 2022) and it is more complicated than before for 40% of these hyperactive people (Social climate- Cegos Barometer 2020).

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Finally, if 40% of executives aspire to manage, in one year this dream loses 7 points among those under 35 and 5 points among 35-54 year olds (Apec, November 2023). Expert is quieter and better paid than “all-purpose manager”. To retain them, stop adding tasks and above all, increase their salary. Like other employees, it is their No. 1 criterion in choosing to join one company rather than another (Robert Half survey, “what candidates want”, April 2023).