I want you to imagine taking on a new person.
They’ve never done the job before but they seem like they have the right attitude and you like them so you decide to invest.
On their first day on the job you get them a chair and a computer and tell them to get on with it.
“Isn’t there any training?” they ask.
“Nah, you were great at the last place you worked so you’ll be fine at this job” you say.
“But I explained I’ve never done this work before so it’s all new to me”
“You’ll be fine” You reply. “anyway I’ve got a meeting now so must dash”.
Of course you’d never do this would you?
That would be crazy.
Why would you go through all that effort of recruiting them and then not give them the skills to do the job?
But oddly, most companies seem to think that this approach is fine when the promote someone.
It happened to me…
My first ever management job came at the age of nineteen.
The regional manager had just fired my boss “because he was rubbish” and now I was next in line.
The training course involved two terrible pieces of advice and a book thrown across a desk at me.
It’s no surprise that I bombed but I probably received more training than most people.
Why management is different
Being a manager is totally different and we’re deluding ourselves if we think someone who is a great call centre operator will automatically be an amazing manager.
You have to get used to telling people what to do, you have to get used to understanding the mission for your team, you have to deal with difficult people and any number of other issues.
And worst of all you have to manage the people who were your friends.
As a front line worker you turn up for work, do a good job and then go home. Your performance is dependent upon yourself.
As a new manager, your performance is down to the people in your team, and that’s a lot of stress.
Don’t lose a great worker and a potentially brilliant manager
So what happened to me in my first line management job?
I’d like to say I turned it all around and things were amazing – but they weren’t.
I didn’t do very well, didn’t know how to change it, received no help then got discouraged and left.
So the business lost someone who was good at his job, and they were still looking for a new manager!
Often, businesses promote someone to a job they have never done, give them little back up and then don’t allow them to step back into the role they were great at.
So what should you do?
There are some simple things you can do to make sure that your potential star lives up to their billing.
First of all remove all the pressure by telling them that if things don’t go well or they don’t enjoy it then they can step back into their old job, no hard feelings.
Secondly explain exactly what the focus of the job is and set performance levels so that they know exactly what is expected of them.
Third, be prepared to give up some of your time. The more effort you put in at the front end then the better it will go for all concerned.
But what if I don’t have the time?
Not every manager has the time to sit down with their staff and give quality training so what can you do?
Well obviously I’m going to say management training right?
I’d like to think that our training is brilliant because it comes from the lived experience of over two decades of front line management.
We help companies train their management cohort so that they have the grounding in the techniques that allows them to begin adding real value right away.
Give me a call and we can talk over the different options for supercharging your managers.
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