While we might want to believe otherwise, an incredibly talented employee doesn’t automatically translate into an excellent manager. In fact, one study found that 26% of new managers admitted they weren’t prepared to move into leadership positions the first time they became bosses. The lack of readiness can be daunting, especially when you might have expectations based on their work performance.
But if they’re new to the game, there’s a lot they might not know, and it would be prudent to invest adequate resources into managerial training initiatives. Just as you expect managers to support the people on their teams, you need to do the same for these new bosses. For the best results, new managers should be trained in the following five areas:
1. Managerial philosophy. New managers can’t expect to show up on Day 1, completely wing it and be successful. Educate new managers about the managerial philosophies that inspire you. For example, you may want to teach them about the concept of servant leadership, which suggests that bosses should go out of their way to accommodate their employees—not the other way around. Just make sure new managers know they don’t have to reinvent the wheel; instead, they can learn from the countless other managers that came before them.
2. Supporting employees. A new manager will most likely be tempted to spend a lot of time thinking about what they can do to make suretheirbosses are pleased by their performance. While that’s totally understandable, they should instead be encouraged to put their energies towards supporting their employees’ needs. When managers support their employees, those employees’ performances will directly affect their manager’s performance.
3. Lifelong learning. New managers should be encouraged to become lifelong learners who are constantly trying to improve themselves. When training a new manager, make sure that individual knows where to turn to for development resources and support. Create a culture where managers are inspired to continue growing.
4. Communication skills. New managers won’t succeed in their roles unless they are transparent and set very specific goals and expectations. It is therefore imperative that organizations that train new managers invest enough time and resources into developing and strengthening their communication skills. That way, members of the new manager’s team will understand with certainty what they’re supposed to do.
5. Emotional intelligence (EQ). Great managers possess higher levels of emotional intelligence, or the ability to control your own emotions and see things from other people’s perspectives. New managers need to develop their empathy not only so they can understand why certain people feel certain ways, but also so they can understand themselves.They shouldn’t run from their emotions; they should embrace them. People are inspired by passionate leaders who know themselves. Don’t let new managers lose their personalities.
Keep in mind that even the best management training program won’t necessarily turn out bosses who are ready to dominate right away. New managers are people too. Almost all of them will need some time to adjust to their new roles. Make sure new managers know that it’s okay to make mistakes while they’re rookies. When they are just starting out, encourage them to list their strengths and weaknesses so they know which areas they should focus on improving.
Companies that throw new managers into the mix without getting them up to speed will almost certainly regret it down the line. To ensure new managers transition smoothly into their positions, train them thoroughly—just like you’d train an entry-level new hire.