We speak a lot about new starters, managers included, and how hiring them is only the first step.
In one of our other posts about first-time managers, we talked about how the transition from employee to a manager is actually a pretty big step and training is crucial to make sure this happens smoothly.
Arguably one of the biggest changes is the fact that they are no longer just responsible for their own workload.
The trouble is, managers have a huge impact on employee engagement and so it is important that they settle into their new role smoothly and do not let these pitfalls drag them down.
Did you know that 85% of your financial success is due to personality? You might think it is down to your wealth of knowledge. Wrong! Research performed by the Carnegie Institute of Technology found that 85% of financial success is due to skills in “human engineering,” personality and ability to communicate, negotiate, and lead. The other 15% is due to technical knowledge.
So it’s not just about supporting the people you hire or promote, it’s also about picking the right person for the job. Just because they have the technical knowledge, does not necessarily mean they are a good fit for the role.
Here are some of the most common pitfalls:
- The bigger picture – Their whole view needs to be much higher than it was before. That means that they need to think bigger about their team, their work and their objectives. It might be tempting to get involved in the minor details of a project that they used to do before but they really should be focussing on the high-level objectives instead.
- It’s not an overnight process – You may have seen the potential in an employee but that doesn’t change the fact that their work life has not been that of a manager’s. It’s very different and it takes time to adjust. However, they probably feel like they should transform overnight and will put extra stress on themselves to meet the expectations they think you have.
- Who do they turn to now? – Now that they are the manager, the line of support has changed. Whereas before they would have gone to their manager with challenges, now they are taking up that mantle. It’s not unusual to see managers keeping their problems to themselves.
- Are they meant to be gurus now? – Now that they are managers they will feel like they need to act differently to before. It’s natural but if they try to emulate others you risk unauthentic leadership. You can find out more in our post: What is authentic leadership?
It’s pretty obvious that the majority of these pitfalls stem from a lack of direction and fear.
Let’s go through them one by one and look at solutions:
- Raise them up – This issue is down to mindset. They will need to adapt theirs to that of a manager, a leader, and this can be easily achieved with some training and support to retrain their brains to start thinking more strategically. This also means communicating with them regularly so that they understand the businesses objectives and where they should be focussing.
- Explain your expectations – Make sure that they understand what you expect from them. Remember, they will want to impress you more than anything and do well in their new role, but to do this they need to take the time to adjust properly. As long as they know that you don’t expect them to know it all from day one and it’s ok that there will be a learning curve, you will prevent them from putting pressure on themselves.
- They turn to you – This is down to knowing that they can come to you with their challenges without fear. Again, they want to impress you, but they will impress you more if they identify challenges and quickly use all their support and resources available to overcome them efficiently.
- Authenticity can be developed – They may not know what kind of leader they are yet, they’re new after all, but they should be encouraged to develop their own skills and approach rather than trying to emulate others. Again this is down to some good management training and coaching but with a focus on emotional intelligence.