We can all probably agree that promoting from within is a good idea, right? Numerous studies document the advantages of promoting from within an organization. One key advantage is the reduction in training time required. While this is true for many positions, organizations should not forget the importance of providing sufficient training when promoting a first time manager. When a growing company promotes an outstanding employee to a management position, the expectation often is that this superstar employee will slide right into place.
While it’s true that the new manager probably is familiar with the policies and structure of the company, if he or she has never been a manager before, some essential skills may be lacking for success in the new position. This can be expensive in the long run due to mistakes the new manager makes, lower productivity due to decreased morale on the part of the manager and his or her employees, and eventually, higher turnover.
Nevertheless, the advantages of promoting from within still outweigh the disadvantages. With thought and planning, companies of all sizes can provide new managers with effective training that will set them on the road to success. Good management skills can positively impact productivity, performance and overall employee morale. Here are some tips for starting new managers down the right path:
- Focus on creating a supportive company culture. Fostering a culture in which employees are engaged and enthusiastic to perform at peak levels requires people management skills, consistent processes and an atmosphere that provides clear, constructive feedback on a regular basis. In other words, create an atmosphere that models what you expect!
- Provide the new manager with training that focuses on developing people skills. It is important that new managers understand the importance of setting clear expectations, communicating frequently, holding people accountable and taking care of their team members. If you use an HR Outsourcing company, check with them for training programs as part of their services. (For example, Staff One offers a First Time Supervisor training program to its clients.)
- Assign a mentor to the new manager. Be sure there is someone who can show them the ropes; someone who can listen and cares about the new manager’s success.
- Communicate strategic business objectives and allow the new manager access to this information across the company. Allowing managers access to the goals of other departments prevents redundancy of effort and gives them the opportunity to find better ways to support each other and work together toward the same objective.
- Host monthly manager discussion forums. New managers can learn together from the seasoned pros and all managers can gain insight on topics relevant to the company. This is a great opportunity for the more experienced managers as well. Everyone can learn something!
- Expect mistakes. Every new manager is going to slip up while learning about his or her management style and how to fit into their new role. Providing a supportive atmosphere with constructive feedback will allow the new manager to grow into an excellent leader for your organization.
If your organization is small and doesn’t have the time or resources to properly train your new managers in-house, consider the wide range of online training courses available. Options are plentiful and will give your new manager the opportunity to start off on the right foot. While it may be tempting to avoid the expense of training and allow your new managers to “figure it out as they go,” this can be a more expensive option in the long run. The important question an organization must ask is, “What is the cost of the new manager’s failure?” From this perspective, providing quality training to your new managers will seem like a bargain!
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