62% of employees resigned citing “toxic company culture” as their #1 reason for leaving, followed by low salary, poor management, and unsustainable work-life balance (FlexJobs). What do all those reasons for leaving have in common? It all comes from the top.
The most effective leaders focus on intentionally coaching their employees towards constant improvement, optimize the performance of their employees and team to meet organizational goals, and recognize and reward their employees appropriately to retain top talent.
Being promoted to a managerial position is a milestone in many people’s professional journey. But unfortunately, some new managers often find themselves navigating unchartered territory, unfamiliar with their new role and its requirements, which can set them up for failure from the start. So, identifying prospective managers and providing them with necessary training can help them excel in their new roles. This article will outline how organizations can unearth managerial potential within their workforce and cultivate it effectively.
Qualities of Good Managers
While specific qualities may fluctuate depending on departmental needs, several attributes universally benefit managers and can prove troublesome for new leaders lacking experience. It’s vital that organizations teach or develop these skills in aspiring managers, enabling them to rise to their new challenges effectively.
- Delegating to Employees: Top-tier managers excel in priority management and delegating tasks to their direct reports. Organizations need to ensure that managers understand their primary role is not solely about their personal work output but about facilitating and optimizing the team’s collective productivity.
- Understanding the Big Picture: A comprehensive view of the organization’s structure and goals is essential for managers. They must grasp how their team dovetails into the wider company and interacts with other departments to achieve the company’s objectives.
- Critical Thinking: Problem-solving at a macro level is another vital skill for managers. This necessitates an ability to think analytically and make connections beyond immediate scenarios, often involving larger scale issues than those faced in non-managerial roles.
- Effective Communication: Successful managers are those who relate to their direct reports individually, understanding their preferred modes of receiving information, criticism, and praise. Tailoring communication to these preferences fosters better relationships and enhances team and employee performance.
- Self-Awareness: Managers must have a strong awareness of their own communication style, strengths, and areas of improvement. Armed with this self-awareness, managers can continually strive to optimize their contribution to the team.
Enhancing Leadership Soft Skills
When discussing managerial qualities, soft skills often get overlooked. These competencies include emotional intelligence, interpersonal skills, empathy, adaptability, and the ability to inspire and motivate teams. And they’re equally, if not more important, in managing or leading a team. Organizations with leaders who master these soft skills are more than 4 times more likely to outperform those that don’t in terms of financial performance (Development Dimensions International). Incorporating these leadership skills in managerial training can create an atmosphere of support and productivity. Soft skills include:
- Emotional Intelligence: Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize, understand, and manage our own emotions and those of others. Managers with high emotional intelligence can empathize with their team members, handle stress effectively, and make informed decisions that take into consideration the emotional climate of their team. Emotional intelligence training can involve empathy-building exercises, emotional awareness sessions, and role-playing activities that simulate real-world scenarios.
- Empathy: Empathy, a key component of emotional intelligence, involves understanding and sharing the feelings of others. Empathetic managers can establish deeper connections with their team, leading to increased morale and loyalty. Training can include active listening exercises and learning techniques to provide effective and considerate feedback.
- Adaptability: The business landscape is ever-evolving, and managers need to adapt quickly to changing circumstances. Adaptability involves being open to new ideas, comfortable with uncertainty, and ready to embrace change. Workshops involving problem-solving in dynamic, unpredictable situations can help enhance this trait.
- Inspiration and Motivation: Effective managers inspire and motivate their team to perform at their best. They know how to rally their team around a shared vision and can bring out the best in each team member. This skill can be cultivated through leadership storytelling sessions, learning to set achievable goals, and understanding what drives individuals.
- Communication: Exceptional managers are also exceptional communicators. They understand how to convey their ideas clearly, listen actively, and engage in constructive feedback. Training can include public speaking workshops, active listening exercises, and sessions on delivering effective feedback.
Focusing on these soft skills alongside more traditional management training will provide a holistic approach to leadership development. By nurturing these skills, organizations can foster a more supportive and productive work environment, and significantly enhance their chances of success.
Training New Managers
The selection for management roles is typically driven by employees’ results-driven attitude and relationship-building capabilities. These traits are cornerstones of the qualities mentioned above; however, most new managers may need to enhance some or all of these aspects. Here are three career development steps for transitioning associates into managerial roles:
- Focus on Key Leadership Qualities: The primary step to nurturing effective managers is to identify the skills and behaviors crucial for leadership roles within your organization. This foundation will guide your entire training approach.
- Structured Learning for Managers: Devise a method to impart these traits to employees. This could range from a face-to-face manager training program, comprehensive handouts, online courses, or blended learning experiences. The crucial factor is clarity about expected behaviors and attitudes for managers.
- Follow-up: Continuous reinforcement and development of skills are essential to ingraining them. Through regular evaluations, feedback sessions, and continuous leadership training, managers can continually refine their abilities and maximize their leadership potential.
Aligning managers with organizational goals and enabling them to perform optimally fosters employee satisfaction and streamlines business operations. By following these steps, you can equip your managers to reach their full potential and become leaders.
How Paycor Helps
Paycor empowers leaders to develop winning teams. Our solutions are purpose-built for leaders. And our COR Leadership Framework explains how your organization can use best practices and technology to build a culture of accountability and engagement. The first step is to transform managers into leaders.
For further insights into identifying managerial potential during recruitment, or to explore how Paycor can support your HR needs, reach out to a Paycor representative.