While 96% of HR pros agree that managers are vital to driving business success, fewer than half say their business adequately invests in developing front-line managers, according to recent Human Capital Institute research. It’s estimated that half of all workers have left a job to get away from a bad manager. Fight the trend: help improve organizational performance and employee engagement by equipping new managers to coach their people and provide clear feedback. Here are some key activities to set your new managers up for success.
1 IDENTIFY THE SKILLS AND COMPETENCIES REQUIRED TO EFFECTIVELY LEAD TEAMS.
When an individual contributor takes on responsibility for a team, he or she may require entirely different skills than the ones that led to success in past roles. As a manager, people skills may become more important than product knowledge; coaching ability trumps an aptitude for coding software. So make sure that you’re hiring managers who have the skills to succeed in those roles, not just promoting based on tenure or great performance in a role that requires entirely different strengths. Gallup found companies that hire managers based on talent realize a 48% increase in profitability, a 30% increase in employee engagement and a 19% decrease in employee turnover. Begin helping your potential leaders develop their skills before putting them in a management role.
2 GIVE MANAGERS VISIBILITY INTO THEIR TEAM’S STRENGTHS, NEEDS, GOALS AND GAPS.
Make sure your managers clearly understand the expectations and goals for their teams—from both a project perspective and professional development standpoint—so they can see progress and respond appropriately. Leading a team to high performance requires managers to provide direction and hold people accountable. Make sure that employee’s goals are documented so managers can measure and track progress through regular check-ins. HCM systems that provide visibility into each team member’s goals make it easier for managers to deliver meaningful coaching and feedback.
3 TEACH YOUR MANAGERS TO DELIVER CONTINUOUS COACHING AND FEEDBACK ON PERFORMANCE.
Just 12% of employees grade their managers as excellent at helping staff improve performance and only 11% say their managers excel at coaching, supporting and developing them. This is a huge gap that organizations must fill if they want to retain staff and provide career mobility. Train managers to become strong coaches so they can guide team members—and the team as a whole—to peak performance.
Next, prepare managers to deliver regular feedback and have an ongoing dialog with each team member. Frequent conversations keep employees engaged and lead to better performance, but one study found that only about 20% of workers meet with their manager on a weekly basis. Make sure your managers are meeting with all their people often enough so that employees know how they’re doing. Have employees and managers collaborate on development plans, balancing current job goals with employees’ additional interests. Leverage performance management tools and 360-degree feedback to let both employees and managers know how they’re doing and recommend appropriate next steps.
Managers have a huge impact on the performance of your people—so make sure you’re giving them the tools and training they need to lead, engage and inspire their teams.
To learn more about identifying and developing first-time people leaders, download complimentary research from SumTotal, A Skillsoft Company, at sumtotalsystems.com/managers.
—Source: 1 “Identifying and Developing First-Time People Leaders.” Human Capital Institute, August 19, 2016. 2 “State of the American Manager: Analytics and Advice for Leaders.” Gallup, 2015. 3 “Future-proofing HR: Bridging the Gap Between Employers and Employees.” Mercer, 2016. 4 “How Millennials Want to Work and Live.”