How to Not Inadvertently Sabotage Your New Managers


Okay…so your new manager “won’t hiss.” But is he or she a bit wide-eyed at the overwhelming responsibility that has suddenly been conferred upon him?

Most new managers are unpleasantly surprised at how difficult it is to be the new boss. And most new managers are woefully unprepared to succeed in their new and critical role.

We know that the success of any business depends all too heavily on the effectiveness of its managers. We know that “people leave managers, not companies” according to a recent Gallup poll and that “poorly managed work groups are on average 50 percent less productive and 44 percent less profitable than well-managed groups.” Are you willing to become one of the groups on the low side of those statistics?

It is time to give your new managers more than a promotion. It is time to give them the new manager training they need to develop the right management skills. It is time to give them the coaching they will need to practice those new supervisor skills until they become commonplace tools they use often and well. Don’t undermine their success before they even meet their new team.

  1. Make sure your new managers understand enough about your corporate strategy.
    New managers need to know what drives your business and how you as an organization plan to meet the future with strength and confidence. They should be fully prepped on relevant company goals and how you expect to achieve them. With that context, new managers should work with a senior manager to understand just how their team fits into the overall picture. How will their team contribute to the whole? How will they be measured? What resources are available to them? All of these questions should be answered to the new manager’s satisfaction.
  2. Make sure your new managers have the training and development support they need to succeed.
    Help your new managers assess their strengths and weaknesses so you can co-create a development plan that will support their learning and growth. Check in regularly to see how they are coping and what challenges they face. The more successful they are at the start, the more successful their team will be. You as the new manager’s manager are a key stakeholder in this scenario.
  3. Make sure your new managers have the coaching support they need to continuously learn and improve.
    Spend the time it takes to coach your new managers on their path to improved and competent leadership. We know that training alone won’t ensure they apply their newly learned skills on the job. Be a hands-on coach to encourage the new leadership behaviors while, at the same time, accepting mistakes as opportunities to do better next time. Your ability to give constructive feedback will not only help your new managers in their own development but will also serve as an example when they give feedback to their team. Manage their performance in a way you want them to manage the performance of their team.

Invest in the time it takes to identify, select, develop and coach new managers. It will serve your company well in terms of good business results.

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