Making the transition from individual contributor to front-line manager is daunting. This is true especially if there is no guidance from the leaders who promoted the employee to a first-time management position.
Here are three key areas for leaders to address in order to help make the transition more successful for their first-time managers:
- Help them develop a leadership mindset before they even step into the role of manager. Discuss the expectations and descriptions of the new role, clearly defining the differences between the rewards that come from personal contributions and having to achieve success through the their direct reports. They have to have confidence in their judgment.
- Help them make the shift from self to others – production and success is no longer a function of this individual’s work. The new manager has to facilitate work through others by enabling them to do so, by providing feedback and listening, by monitoring and coaching and by providing resources and problem solving.
- Help with the socialization process of learning to lead. Building trust is one of the key tasks of a new manager. This requires the ability to build relationships and to create opportunities for employees to take on more. These relationships have to include people not previously seen as important to their work - upper management, employees and outsiders like suppliers, consultants and customers.
Your duty to your new managers includes clear communication of expectations, monitoring progress and regular feedback and coaching support as needed.
As an outside coach for large corporations, I help leaders enhance their skills for helping their first-time managers succeed.
Reach out to me, I can help you develop successful first-time managers.