Why Engaging your First Time Manager is Crucial?
In today’s talent constrained marketplace, developing competent managers is more important than ever. First Time (or first level) managers in particular are vital to individual and organizational performance. They help attract candidates, drive employee performance, engagement and retention, and play a key role in maximizing employees’ contribution to the organization - establishing clear goals, motivating and coaching employees towards progress.
All organizations believe that this requires a leadership mind-set, which requires behavioural changes that prepare supervisors / managers to act decisively on strategic opportunities.
On the contrary, a recent research by CCL showed that 20% of first-time managers (FTMs) were doing a poor job according to their subordinates, 26% felt they were not ready to lead others to begin with, and almost 60% said they never received any training when they transitioned into their first leadership role.
What do these numbers suggest? Not preparing FTMs weakens the leadership pipeline and may hurt the bottom line of any organization. But L&D managers have the power to change that for their organization. By knowing their challenges, they could then provide the right means, on-the-job mentoring support, and resources, and more appropriate training initiatives and developmental opportunities so FTMs can overcome their challenges and be better leaders.
In short, organisations could help a FTM’s focus on (1) shift and (2) expand. First, facilitate for the focus to shift: a FTMs focus must move away from “me” and “my” abilities that got the promotion into management in the first place and shift towards the joy, satisfaction, and engagement that come with learning to be a leader and taking part in leadership development opportunities. Second, ensure FTMs focus is to expand: a focus on “you”-the people FTMs lead and serve-must now be included and integrated. When FTMs expand their focus on “you” they become accountable and responsible for the success of the people they lead and serve.
Thankfully, organizations are now investing towards entry and first levels of management training and development. In 2017, Bersin by Deloitte found that 39% of training budgets went towards first-level managers, which is the highest for any level of managers in organizations. That’s great news!
Practical Tips and Application: What Can Be Done to Help FTMs Overcome These Challenges?
With my experience of having worked with over 1000+ organisations globally, I’ll be happy to share with you, perspectives of first-time managers and the struggles they have and how some of the most successful organisations are making this transition smooth; strengthening their leadership pipeline. We will also provide global insights into what organisations like yours can do to help FTMs and engage with them and their teams for business impact