So a management position becomes available in your company, and you make the decision to promote an existing member of the team. They’re eager, they’re passionate, and they’re full of potential. They’re also human beings though, and however excited they might be to step up and demonstrate what they can achieve, there are a few bumps in the road that they’re likely to run into.
You’ve probably experienced these bumps in your own career, and if you’ve managed a business for any amount of time, you’ll know that leading a team can sometimes be messy and complex. As the business owner though, you’ve got a role to play in supporting your new manager and helping them to navigate the challenges.
The first step is anticipating the struggles that they may well experience. Let’s take a look at what they are…
Making the shift from coworker to boss
Your employee no doubt already has working relationships with many of the people they’ll now be managing. They might socialise together at weekends, and have friendships outside of the office. A promotion can disturb the natural order of things, and this can leave the new manager and their team feeling unsettled.
Finding the time for all the new responsibilities
Previously, the individual might have worked in their own bubble. They managed their own workload, had one set of deadlines to adhere to, and mainly worked independently from the wider team. Sometimes, the promotion to manager can leave them feeling like they’ve bitten off way more than they can chew. Not only do they have their own work to do, but they now need to fit all their management activities into their diary. This can be overwhelming and stressful.
Not delegating work
It can be tricky sometimes to feel confident in delegating work to a team. There can be a tendency to try to do everything on your own, but as every manager who has ever made this mistake can attest to, it quickly leads to burn out, and it’s not a productive or sustainable way to operate. Delegating works best when there’s a clear workflow in place, and the manager communicates effectively with the team.
Fixing things that aren’t broken
New managers are often bright eyed and bushy tailed. They’re keen to make an impression, and are actively looking for ways to improve the productivity and effectiveness of the business. This can be a very good thing, but there’s a balance to strike. Some improvements might be best left until another time while more pressing matters are handled, or it could be the case that only a small return would be made, meaning that the project isn’t realistically viable.
Refusing to ask for help
We all now managing people is tough, even if you have years of experience. There will always be new challenges to deal with, situations that are out of your comfort zone, and issues that seem impossible to handle effectively. If your new managers don’t feel like they can speak up when they’re struggling, or they don’t have an appropriate support network in place, then things can quickly spiral out of control.
Becoming a manager is an exciting time, and your employee will want to thrive and show you that you made the right decision. But as an employer, you need to take the time to think about how you’ll help them to navigate these challenges. Your approach will largely come down to the individual, existing policies and procedures you have in place in your business, and the development path that you offer to your staff.
Are you confident that you’re fulfilling your responsibility when it comes to managing the career progression of your future leaders? And what changes might you need to make to ensure that the promotion process is as smooth as possible for your employees?