All too often, people are promoted into management positions for the first time and left to sink or swim. We see it all the time – people who were great individual contributors, fantastic at getting the job done in their chosen specialism. But now there is an added layer to their role – managing people. How hard can it be? Surely it’s just telling a bunch of people what to do and giving them a few pats on the back every now and then? Maybe signing off timesheets and giving them a performance review once a year? Easy, right?!
Pretty soon, though, the reality sets in. This is not that easy! There’s a whole added layer of complexity to manager’s work – the challenges of managing human beings, all with their own preferences and needs. Add to this the ever-increasing demands on a manager’s time and skills like time management, prioritisation and delegation become extremely important.
There is a huge cost to poor management. A recent survey showed that managers waste an average of an hour every day – that’s 34 days (or nearly 7 full weeks) per year – cleaning up after poor performers. 68% of the mistakes that employees made are never noticed by their managers.
In the US alone, it’s costing companies $105 billion every single year to correct problems that bad management and hiring practices created.
Of course we’re not only dealing with the costs of poor performance. Bad managers push away high performers too and the cost of replacing them is extremely high – approximately 50% of their annual salary.
As the saying goes, people don’t leave organisations, they leave managers.
Managers, new and old, need support and development to help them create the right climate for their teams. Some of the skills that your managers need to be excellent at include:
- Effective delegation: this ensures they get the best possible results from their team by assigning the right tasks to the right people in the right way.
- Giving feedback: this helps to keep team members motivated and engaged; and ensures that any necessary performance corrections are made.
- Coaching: this ensures that they contribute to developing the skills of their team.
- Performance management: managers need to know how to manage the performance of their people every day, not just once a year at performance review time. They need to know how to nip issues in the bud and reward excellent performance.
So how do you develop these skills in your managers? We find that a just in time, modular approach over a 12 month period, ideally coupled with 1-2-1 coaching works really effectively.