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How to help your First-time managers become better people managers

Sher Yar Khan

Sher Yar Khan

April 27, 2023 6 min read

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Becoming a first-time manager can be both exciting and overwhelming. For many, the transition from individual contributor to manager can be a difficult one, requiring a different set of skills, knowledge, and expertise. Therefore, it is essential to provide first-time managers with the right tools and resources to succeed in their new role. In this article, we will discuss the importance of effective people management for CEOs and HR heads and the key considerations in developing first-time managers.

Becoming a first-time manager can be both exciting and overwhelming. For many, the transition from individual contributor to manager can be a difficult one, requiring a different set of skills, knowledge, and expertise. Therefore, it is essential to provide first-time managers with the right tools and resources to succeed in their new role. In this article, we will discuss the importance of effective people management for CEOs and HR heads and the key considerations in developing first-time managers.

Effective people management

For CEOs and HR heads, the most crucial role in their organization is to manage and develop people. Creating a culture of continuous learning and improvement can help managers and team members feel supported and engaged in their work.

As senior leaders, you need to focus on developing programs and initiatives that support the professional development of their people managers, provide coaching and training on leadership skills, and create a culture of continuous learning and improvement. They play a vital role in developing and communicating the organization’s overall people strategy, which includes attracting, developing, and retaining top talent. They need to collaborate with other leaders and stakeholders across the organization to ensure that the people strategy aligns with the overall business strategy and goals.

Furthermore, CEOs and HR heads need to oversee various HR functions, such as recruitment, compensation and benefits, employee relations, and performance management, to ensure that they align with the organization’s goals and values and that they support the development and retention of the organization’s employees.

Effective people management

Assessing candidates’ understanding of the company and their interest in management

CEOs and HR heads need to assess candidates’ understanding of the whole company, not just the role, during the interview process. They can ask open-ended questions such as, “What do you know about our company?” or “How do you think our company is unique from our competitors?” to determine if the candidate has been keeping up with the company’s latest news and developments. Additionally, they can ask specific questions to assess a candidate’s interest in management, such as “What is your management style?” or “How do you motivate and develop your team members?” By asking these types of questions, they can evaluate the candidate’s previous management experience, if any, and assess their potential for future leadership roles within the organization.

Developing first-time managers

To ensure the success of first-time managers, CEOs and HR heads can provide a workshop that focuses on equipping them with the right tools and resources to seamlessly transition and succeed in their role. The workshop can cover topics such as communication skills, setting goals, providing feedback, managing performance, delegation, and time management. By providing a combination of interactive sessions, group discussions, case studies, and role-playing exercises, managers can not only learn the concepts but also practice and apply them in a simulated environment. Investing in the development of first-time managers can have a significant impact on the organization’s overall performance. When managers are equipped with the right tools and resources, they can effectively lead their teams, improve employee engagement and productivity, and ultimately drive business results. This can  also have benefits like:

  •         Strong Foundation in Management
  •         Increased Employee Engagement and Productivity
  •         Pipeline of Effective Managers
  •         Foster a Culture of Continuous Learning and Development

Do’s and Don’ts

As a CEO or HR head, it’s important to provide guidance and support to your first-time managers to help them succeed in their new role. Here are some do’s and don’ts to keep in mind:

Do’s:

  1. Provide clear expectations: First-time managers may not have a clear understanding of what is expected of them in their new role. Ensure that you provide clear expectations, including goals, responsibilities, and performance metrics.
  2. Offer training and development: Provide your first-time managers with the necessary training and development opportunities to build their skills and confidence in their new role. This can include formal training programs, mentoring, coaching, and job shadowing.
  3. Encourage open communication: Encourage your first-time managers to communicate openly with their team members and colleagues. This can help build trust, foster collaboration, and create a positive work environment.
  4. Set an example: As a leader, set an example for your first-time managers to follow. Lead by example and demonstrate the behaviors and values that you want to see in your team.
  5. Provide feedback and recognition: Provide regular feedback and recognition to your first-time managers. This can help them understand what they are doing well and where they need to improve.

Don’ts:

  1. Micromanage: Avoid micromanaging your first-time managers. This can undermine their confidence and autonomy, and prevent them from developing their own management style.
  2. Avoid difficult conversations: As a leader, it’s important to address issues and conflicts as they arise. Avoiding difficult conversations can lead to resentment and tension in the workplace.
  3. Expect perfection: First-time managers are learning and growing in their new role, and mistakes will happen. Don’t expect perfection from them and instead, focus on supporting their growth and development.
  4. Play favorites: Avoid playing favorites with your first-time managers or team members. This can create division and resentment within the team and undermine their motivation and morale.
  5. Fail to recognize their achievements:

By keeping these do’s and don’ts in mind, you can help your first-time managers succeed in their new role and build a strong foundation for their future success as leaders in your organization.

Conclusion

Effective people management is critical to the success of any organization. For CEOs and HR heads, developing and supporting their people managers is the most crucial role they play in their organization. By assessing candidates’ understanding of the company and their interest in management, they can identify potential leaders and provide them with the right tools and resources to succeed. By investing in the development of first-time managers, they can build a pipeline of effective managers who can take on more significant leadership roles in the future and create a culture of continuous learning and development within the organization.

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