New Manager Training—the Big Picture

3 words, Back to Basics, are written in chalk on a blackboard

Hopefully when you were first promoted to the position of manager after your sterling performance as an individual contributor, you received quality new manager training to set you and your new team up for success.

We know from working with thousands of new managers that it is unwise, not to mention unrealistic, of leaders to expect that newly promoted managers will know what it takes to succeed in leading and managing others successfully from the get-go. The skills and knowledge required to be an effective manager are considerably different from the skills required to be a successful individual contributor.

New managers need to first learn the management basics. This includes knowing what being a successful manager means in their unique organizational culture. That typically includes management fundamentals such as how to effectively set goals, measure and monitor success, delegate tasks, determine and manage budgets, manage high and substandard performance, provide feedback and coach, handle conflict, make decisions, communicate effectively, motivate…and the list goes on. But the underlying principle of all of these skills—the basics if you will—is your ability to promote, establish and maintain a high performance culture that keeps your team engaged and performing at their peak. You need the talent on your team, of course, and a clear strategy from you and your leaders, but it is the third pillar of success—culture—that relies mainly on you to create and live. Our research and experience point in one direction: talent, strategy and culture all need to be aligned for an organization and a team to really thrive.

So what is “organizational culture” and why does it matter?

We think of corporate culture as the way business is conducted on a day-to-day basis. It guides how you work and make decisions. It is a conglomeration of the behaviors and values that define your company and work environment. These cultural components are then passed along by imitation and consistent communication to other workers in the organization. Though it may sound very intangible and so-called “soft,” it has a very direct impact on employee engagement and business performance. Our organizational alignment research tells us that culture accounts for up to 40% of the performance difference between high and low performing organizations.

According to our research with over 400 companies across eight industries, companies with high talent-strategy-culture alignment grow 58% faster and are 72% more profitable than unaligned companies. In fact they outperform employee engagement by a factor of 16.8 to 1. That’s why culture matters.

More to the point for you as a new manager, how can you positively shape and influence the organizational culture on your team?

• Clarity.
Be crystal clear when you set team standards and goals on exactly what behaviors and performance you expect to see. Then you must hold team members accountable for those behaviors and expectations. Hold yourself accountable, too, for modeling the desired behaviors and results. As you behave and perform, so will they. Be open and honest and fair. Earn their trust. Encourage growth by showing that you value continuous learning in your own career development. Know that your success now depends upon the success of your team.

• Meaning.
Help your team to find meaning in what they do as individuals, as team members and as contributors to the success of the company as a whole. They need to know why it is worth staying and performing. Help them see how they are making a difference and that what they are doing is worthwhile personally and professionally. Employees are highly engaged and productive when they believe in what they are doing.

By paying close attention to the type of performance environment you create for your, you will be the new manager everyone wants to follow.

Download our new manager toolkit to get the latest tips and tools.

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