Passing the Management Baton
Management has always required people with high levels of competence and performance to competently carry out the duties and responsibilities of the role and secondly to lead others. At the end of the day the senior management leadership challenge is to add value and this can be achieved by building the confidence of those we lead.
It is critically important that we direct, lead and inspire the next generation of managers so as to ensure they have the skills to carry the flag in the future. The best new managers are continually being trained by their senior managers and peers and are teaching themselves to become better at their roles through learning and growth.
Many young managers today will readily understand and comprehend the what and why of management however may struggle with having the confidence to put this knowledge in to practice.
This is a dilemma that many companies senior management teams face and the following suggestions may assist. It is only through experience can bring these new managers skills to life and be meaningful.
Here are some tips to assist you with your next managers.
Firstly, set meaningful objectives and goals. Goals should be S.M.A.R.T, (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timely). Goals will clarify the direction and what is expected to be accomplished. Goals should be linked to your strategic plan.
Practice modelling. Model the behaviours required by setting an example with your own behaviours. There is a theory called operant conditioning and this relates to a concept of consequence. The probability that a person performs in a certain way is a function of previous consequences. From this we can see that responses following desired behaviours will occur more and responses followed by undesirable consequence will be less. By modelling the correct and appropriate behaviours will lead to positive specific outcomes.
Be an encourager and motivator. Positively reinforce good behaviours. Examples of positive reinforcement are praise and recognition. By contrast, negative reinforcement is often seen as punishment.
Management is not an easy task and it is expected those in management positions can deliver on a number of skills or competencies. These include; organising, time management, problem solving, decision making, mentoring and motivation, goal setting, effective listening, conflict management, self-control and communication.
Management training must ensure the above core skills are captured, understood and put in to practice. Teach your new managers what behaviours are expected, your company values and ethics, how to manage risk and encourage their creativity and flexibility.
The recipients of the training need to know and understand not just the “what” but importantly the “how” in applying the skills.
Companies that invest in their management training will undoubtedly reap the rewards in improved productivity, profitability, efficiency and overall satisfaction (customer, company and individual) levels.
I recall my early days in management and the expectations imposed. It wasn’t easy. Over the years I have developed many ways of being more efficient and productive. I have learned the value of good time management, task focused behaviours, getting buy in to ideas and in encouraging others. I challenge all senior managers to “pass the baton” wisely through passing on your wisdom, experience, knowledge and skills today to your future managers. You will then have every confidence in the ongoing sustainability of your business.