By: Courtney Beam
Are your newly promoted managers lost? Oftentimes, the skills that made them successful in their previous role won’t translate into their role as a manager and the oversight of this reality on behalf of organizations can be detrimental. A lack of development support at this pivotal career shift can leave new managers floundering, confused, frustrated or running inefficient teams. What can organizations do better or different to help their top-performing individual contributors transition into leaders responsible for delegating and getting results through others?
They need help understanding the different skills necessary to successfully manage. Sometimes we just assume people know how to manage. Simply making the transition from individual contributor to manager must be part of the conversation as soon as the promotion takes place. As they make the transition from “buddy” to boss, help them navigate their new relationships and the skills they’ll need in their new role. Tip: Coach your new managers to identify which skills were critical to their success as an individual contributor and how those skills need to change with their new role. There may be skills or behaviors that they need to let go of, some they need to develop, and even some that they choose to not let go of.
They need help communicating as a manager. Newly promoted managers likely wouldn’t have been promoted if they didn’t have any communication skills but now that they’re responsible for managing others, their communication skills must grow and evolve with their new role. With this transition, it’s up to them as managers to adjust their communication style to that of their team members to ensure effective communication. They may also be responsible for communicating company messages and changes, even when they may not agree with the change. Tip: Support them in understanding there are differences in the way people communicate by starting with their own communication style and discuss their impact on others. We recommend leveraging coaching or a behavioral assessment to give them insight into preferences, tendencies, and communication styles. When managers recognize these differences and adjust accordingly, it can be the key to better communication and stronger teams.
They need help managing performance. Another area that new managers tend to struggle is with managing performance – planning, setting goals for their team, and then delegating based on the performance plan. Tip: Coach new managers on how to effectively use SMART Goals. The specific and measurable nature of SMART goals help managers understand how to focus their direct reports efforts so they’re spending time on essential tasks and projects. SMART goals also provide markers and metrics for achieving desired outcomes and makes it easier for managers to determine when their team is on track or off track. Creating clear goals also helps managers know when to course correct or give positive feedback when their team is on track.
Are you anticipating promoting your top-performing individual contributors into management positions? Contact us to learn more about how ICC can support your efforts in developing your emerging leaders.