Just promoted a manager? Here are the top 5 support tips to get them off to a flying start
When you promote a new manager, your work is only just beginning. If you don’t give them the proper support, you’re setting them up to fail. Read on for five tips to ensure their success - and by the way, these work just as well for not-so-new managers who are struggling.
1) Provide more support through 1:1s
Promoting someone means you need to give them more support, not less. Don’t monitor them based on their maturity in general, but on their task-relevant maturity - in other words, if they’re new to a task, they’re a baby in that area, and they need nurturing. Make sure you both bring an agenda to their 1:1s - you can prepare positive or negative feedback, while they can use the agenda to get your advice.
2) Give them good fundamentals to start
Help them understand team members’ strengths and weaknesses, and what happened before they took over. Make sure they’re doing the basics of a successful manager: building rapport and trust with everyone on the team, having 1:1s with them, and investing in the career growth of all team members, especially the A players, who will leave if they don’t feel valued.
3) Avoid creating politics
As your team grows, you may have to split them and hire a new manager to look after some of them. This means that some of your direct reports, who had a great working relationship with you, may now be feeling a bit discarded and liable to resent the new manager for not being you. You have to prepare the newcomer to handle this, or destructive politics will ensue.
4) Make some failure okay
Don’t bubblewrap your new manager - let them make a few mistakes and learn from them. Only step in if it looks as if a mistake will be very costly.
5) Ask how they’re getting on
If your new manager is having a bad time, they won’t want to lose face by volunteering that information, and you may not know until they burn out and quit a year later. So take time to ask how they’re doing, and make it clear that it’s safe to tell you if they’re struggling.