10 Tips to Build Strong Managers in Your Organization
Can anyone become a manager?
Sure, why not?
Does everyone want to be a manager?
The Perpetual Cycle
Promoting people into management positions based on strong technical skills is not a new organizational phenomenon. But, after doing so, leaders then question why they don't have strong people managers. The reality is that this cycle will continue until organizations are ready to truly invest in developing their managers.
But people aren’t born with managerial skills. How do people learn how to manage? Often, it’s by watching how their manager manages them. After all, they were promoted into a management position so they must know, right? Yes, but not always. They may have been promoted into their roles based on technical skills. But, these are our role models.
Breaking the Cycle
Organizations need to break this cycle so that they can have managers who are strong role models for the next generation of managers. But how?
Management training is one solution. It may build awareness and offer practice of skills most associated with good management. We know that in order for it to provide its full potential value, organizations need to make further investments, many of which are not directly financial. A commitment to setting expectations for, developing, recognizing and rewarding good management is essential to make a difference.
This organizational commitment can take many forms. Organizations will enjoy the benefits through enhanced individual performance, engagement, retention, and ultimately, its financials, by integrating and reinforcing several approaches into the everyday experiences of its people.
What Can You Do?
10 steps you can take in your organization or team to foster good management:
Define what “good” looks like: Clearly articulate the behaviors of a successful manager in your organization.
Establish clear expectations: Provide clear expectations to managers in terms of their roles, responsibilities, and performance objectives.
Build a culture of accountability: Ensure that managers are held accountable for their performance and results. Make it part of their jobs!
Learn from others: Encourage great managers to share their stories about what has worked and what challenges they have faced as a manager. There’s a lot to be learned from the experiences of others.
Promote dialogue: Promote open and honest discussion between managers and their team members.
Encourage feedback: Encourage managers to solicit feedback from their staff, peers, and supervisors.
Provide opportunities to practice: Offer aspiring managers to start practicing management skills before formally stepping into the position, such as taking on a team lead role or managing a project team.
Focus on development: Develop a culture of continuous learning and development for managers.
Offer rewards and recognition: Recognize and reward managers for their achievements and accomplishments.
Provide mentorship: Provide mentors to help managers develop their skills and gain experience.
Keep in mind that not everyone wants to manage people. Avoid placing someone in a managerial position who does not have the desire or inclination to manage people. How will you know? Simply ask them. You may be surprised as to what else you learn from this discussion!