When you transition from a professional role into a management role, you are no longer doing the functional work of your job. An excellent computer programmer is not programming anymore, for instance; she is supervising other people who are programming. This is a very difficult transition for many people, and in fact, some don’t make it. They become “super-doers” rather than managers; that is, they are trying to do their managerial duties but continue doing the functional work at which they are adept. It is hard on them, but it is also dysfunctional for the team as a whole.
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Here are three proven ways your organization can help new managers get set-up for success:
1. Understand the True Value of the Role
Companies have to understand and value the role of the people manager. When interviewing or determining promotions for these roles, they have to consider and assess skills and knowledge in the particular field, but also management skills and the capability to do that work. Having technical competency, or even technical excellence, does not mean one possesses people managing skills.
2. Lead by Example
Organizations have to manage the managers. When a manager is promoted, his/her manager must set context and boundaries, and manage expectations around this new position. This person must lead by example and show the new manager how an effective manager should operate. The new manager’s manager must explicitly outline expectations for performance management, meeting management, time management, and other crucial job components.
3. Manage Team Expectations
The new manager also has to manage the expectations of his/her direct reports in just the same way, by setting context and boundaries with the new team. For instance, he might have an open door policy and the boundaries and “ground rules” surrounding that policy have to be laid out. Again, expectations need to be explicit.
Managing the shift to management is incredibly challenging. By having the right supports in place from the top and by creating those supports for the team, a manager can work effectively.