Supporting the Newly Promoted Manager

As we progress in our careers from team member to manager of a team we need to constantly add value to the company we work for. Failure to make a successful transition from team member to manager causes your value to fall and can mean that you contribute less to your company than you did when you were a team member. But making this transition is not easy, many newly promoted managers find it hard to make the necessary changes to the way they previously worked.
As a team member we add value to the company by becoming highly competent at our job and delivering consistently good results. But as a manager we add value by ensuring our team delivers results. We do this by investing our time in coaching and developing our team so that their collective performance improves.

Too many newly promoted managers neglect their primary responsibility, which is supporting the output of their team, and instead focus on prioritising the workload. This, coupled with a reluctance to delegate, quickly becomes a serious problem. The newly promoted manager works longer and harder trying to micromanage what everyone is doing, team productivity falls and the newly promoted manager becomes ever more stressed and exhausted by their futile efforts.

Because the manager lacks the time to provide badly needed individual support to their team members, the team members fail to either master their responsibilities or to attend training to develop badly needed new skills. The manager’s interaction with their team also suffers, which in turn impacts on team engagement and morale as well as team productivity.

So what can more senior managers do to help their newly promoted managers succeed in making the transition? There are four important things senior managers should do:

1. Ensure that the role and responsibilities are clear. Write a good job description and discuss your expectations.

2. Rather than the newly promoted manager seeing their role as being “in charge” help them to see it as one of serving the team. By appreciating the importance of supporting their team the newly promoted manager is more likely to devote time to staff development.

3. Invest time in proper management training and development. In particular teach them essential delegation skills. The more they can ‘let go’ the higher their team’s output will be.

4. Once trained, hold them accountable. Regularly review your manager’s performance and remove under-performing managers quickly. Not everyone is suited to a managerial position and keeping an under-performing manager in place not good for them, not good for the team they manage and not good for the company’s performance.