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The Essentials for New Managers
How to help new leaders arise and become excellent role models.
For many business leaders, there’s nothing quite as satisfying as promoting employees into new positions of responsibility. It can be a big step for them — and for you. Since your new managers must grow quickly into their new roles, you need to provide support to help them and their teams succeed. Here are a few ways to introduce employees to the challenging new role of manager:
Prepare your employees for advancement. Even before you promote someone, take stock of your talent pool. Make sure to give your employees as much decision-making autonomy as their roles allow, offer stretch assignments and find out where everyone’s aspirations lie. No matter their position on the org chart, all your employees should understand the business well enough to know how their performance helps it succeed. Remember, too, that as a leader, you are modeling expected behavior and skills.
Help them adjust to their new relationships. If a new manager was promoted over their peers, you both have some work to do. Make sure they are aware that their relationship with their team has changed and that they must treat team members fairly and equitably. New managers can feel a need to make their direct reports their friends, so emphasize the importance of maintaining mutual respect above all. Be careful that your new manager doesn’t go to the other extreme either, but rather listens to and considers the ideas of team members.
Don’t micromanage. You have managers so you can delegate responsibility to them. While it may be tempting to hover over new managers, you’re better off stepping back and letting them figure things out for themselves — even if it means making mistakes or taking longer than usual. At the same time, encourage them to focus on results rather than methods when it comes to their direct reports. You’re not paying them to do their old jobs, but instead to oversee others.
Check in regularly. A weekly meeting should bring you up to speed with your managers’ performance, and give you an opportunity to provide further mentoring. And, of course, make sure you’re available at any time so your new managers can come to you with issues or questions as they arise.
Putting your faith in a new manager can be challenging, but with patience and an eye toward the future, you can make it the first step in their lifelong professional development.
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