Being a Good New Manager Is Not a Matter of Luck

Being a Good New Manager Is Not a Matter of Luck
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Being a Good New Manager from the Start
Being a good new manager is not a matter of luck.  When new managers falter, it is almost always due to a lack of management preparation and support.  And often the blame belongs to the leaders who promoted them into their new role.

Leading Is Very Different than Doing
Many employees are promoted to management because of their success delivering results as an individual contributor combined with their technical expertise. But one critical ingredient is often missing — the ability to get work done through others.  Too many new managers have not been taught how to effectively lead people.

Research on New Manager Effectiveness
With more than half of first-time managers reporting that they received no training when promoted, it is not surprising that up to 50% of new managers are deemed ineffective by their bosses. 

Additionally, Gallup estimates that managers account for at least 70% of variance in employee engagement scores across business units.  The bottom line is that most new managers struggle in their new role.

Two Solid Tips to Better Prepare New Managers
Be sure you set up your new managers to succeed by:

  1. Providing the Right Management Development
    Don’t just look for a standard off-the-shelf management training program, sign people managers up, and think you’ve done your job in preparing them.

    While management fundamentals are an important starting point, make sure that any new manager training focuses on the critical few management situations that make the difference between an average and extraordinary manager at your company with respect to your unique strategy and culture.

    Then make sure to customize the content and approach to each person’s specific development needs. Common examples for new managers include being able to:

    — Set clear team goals and accountabilities

    Work across functions and teams

    —  Balance being a player-coach across multiple projects

    Lead change and handle complexity

    — Provide effective performance feedback

    Increase employee engagement and retention

    Communicate early and often

    — Run effective team and 1×1 meetings

    Make sound decisions with limited information

    Delegate tasks and empower their team

    — Hold team members accountable

    These are just a few of the leadership skills they will need to succeed at being a good new manager.

  2. Provide Continued Support and Coaching
    Only 1-in-5 management training participants change their on-the-job performance from management training alone.  Acknowledge that there will be a learning curve and ongoing challenges.  Then provide consistent feedback, coaching, and support to let them know how they are doing and to provide advice on how to improve.

The Bottom Line
The effectiveness of your managers matters too much to your overall business performance to neglect the thoughtful preparation of new managers.  They need targeted development opportunities early on, understanding and support as they move into their new position, and ongoing coaching so they have a chance to learn from their mistakes and continuously improve.  Do not leave the process up to luck.

To learn more about being a good new manager, download The Six Management Best Practices that Make the Difference between Effective and Extraordinary

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