Recipe for success
1 c. of intelligence
Don't we all wish it were so easy to throw some ingredients together and end up with a recipe for a great manager? Most successful managers tend to be made up of an equal combination of many attributes and skills, but all of them differ in their approach and style.
Many company executives have found that investing in their key individuals helps to drive their bottom line in the areas of production, attendance and increased morale. The primary area executives should focus their investment on is developing their new and current managers.
Most managers learn to become managers from their previous bosses, whether good or bad. Most of these new managers were strong operations employees that upper management "thought" would be a good manager because they were so good at the operation. Mistake! Just as the employee was trained over a period of time in the operation, a new manager should be trained in management as well. This is especially important when they are promoted from within.
Why do companies fail at this aspect of development?
For some it could be a financial concern. For others it could be a lack of understanding that it takes more than just a good operations person to manage people. In many cases it requires a combination of both factors.
What can be done to give a new manager the resources they need to be successful?
Lots! First of all, good foresight into the company's staffing needs is key. Management must be able to forecast and understand their staffing needs as far in advance as possible. This will enable them to determine the "who and what." Who will they need, an internal or external candidate? What resources will need to be put into this identified candidate-do they come with some management or no management experience?
The next questions to ask: What areas does this manager need to enhance, and what type of manager are we trying to groom? Knowing the different types of managers is key in determining what type of development will be necessary. There are operational and technical managers who will need strong knowledge in the company's products and services, company culture, internal company procedures and labor laws. You also have your senior managers who will need to be well versed in the company's strategic vision, company culture, employee relations and financial profit and loss statements.
Where do you find good quality training and development?
Look in your own backyard first. There are always other valuable managers that would be willing to mentor and train a new manager. If your company is large enough you may also look to your human resources manager for training and development classes. Most HR managers are very well versed in the areas of recruiting, labor laws, benefits and compensation, and employee relations. If internal resources are not available there are many external seminar resources that provide quality training and development in one- or two-day sessions. SkillPath, Mission, Kan., National Seminars Group, Kansas City, Mo., and American Management Association International, New York City, are just a few to consider. These seminar companies can offer courses in the areas of labor law, recruiting, management, communication and financial management. For those managers who you want to develop into a more senior role, local colleges and universities offer courses in executive management. Most colleges have courses in business management that provide the more in-depth education in finance and accounting, strategic business planning and the legal aspects of running a business.
Companies that invest time, effort and education into their key employees can expect to reap the rewards of highly productive and valuable individuals. These leaders will be the people that can move the company into new directions, increase profits, boost morale and build positive corporate reputation.
Bottom line: A company's most valuable asset is its employees. Placing the right people in management positions and investing in their development is a best practice, and companies can be assured to see a return on that investment.