How to boost the skills of first-time managers

by L&D26 Apr 2017
Whilst there are many factors which can influence the success of your team, a great manager is a key factor when it comes to keeping people motivated and on the road to success, either as individuals, a team, or an organisation.

Bas Kohnke, CEO at Impraise – a web and mobile app for sharing actionable, timely feedback between colleagues – told L&D Professional that an effective manager can make all the difference between a successful team and one that falls short.

Kohnke pointed out that while there are many factors which can influence the success of teams, a great manager is a key factor when it comes to keeping people motivated and on the road to success, either as individuals, a team, or an organisation.

“An effective manager can make all the difference between a successful team and one that falls short: management accounts for 70% of the variance in employee engagement, which hugely impacts all aspects of workplace performance,” Kohnke explained.

“As such an important influence, it’s key that managers, especially those in their first management role, feel they have all the resources and knowledge available to them to help drive their team towards success.”

Below, he shares three tips for developing first time managers and making sure the transition is as smooth as can be.

Mentoring
It’s key to make sure first-time managers aren’t just thrown into the deep end and made to go from their previous role with no transitional period. The transition should be as smooth and practical as possible. Providing mentors can be a great way to ease people into their new responsibilities and practices. Allowing your first-time managers to spend a few days shadowing the person currently in their future role, or in a similar one, and giving them the opportunity to openly share concerns, gaps in their knowledge, or issues they’re having is a great way to ease people in and ensure that they have the support they need in the form of a consistent mentor.
 
Collaboration is key
Whilst having those with more experience provide support, advice or help building skills can be great, it can also be incredibly useful to speak to those on the same level. Providing open management sessions on a regular basis can be a hugely helpful way for both first-time and more experienced managers to share their knowledge, tips and issues alike in an open and constructive environment where the only aim is to improve. In larger organisations it’s a great practice to group together newer or first-time managers from various departments for meetings with open discussion.
 
Focus on building the right skills
It’s one thing ensuring first-time managers feel personally ready to take on their role, but it’s also key to ensure that people have the skill sets required of them. Setting goals that involve developing specific skills gives people something concrete to aim towards and ensure the right things are being focused on. Providing people with a focus on developing their management and leadership skills means that they’ll be able to focus on developing these key aspects of management alongside the skills they already possess. Managing people requires new skill sets, and being aware of exactly how to develop those skills is key not only for first-time managers who have recently started their role, but also for those with potential who could be soon-to-be leaders.


Related stories:
Training of mid-level managers on the decline – report
Disruption looms for corporate training
Successful learning starts with the right leadership
 

COMMENTS