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VOL. 40 | NO. 32 | Friday, August 5, 2016

Good workers don’t always make good managers

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Executives often identify and promote top-shelf individual contributors to front-line managers. Six months into their new position, they are struggling. Team performance has decreased and turnover has increased.

The executive is often left wondering what changed.

Has this great employee suddenly become a bad employee? Generally, good employees want to keep performing well. What could have gone wrong?

Failure 1: Coaching

The new manager was never a poor performer, so they were never coached on poor performance. Now, they are charged with managing direct reports who aren’t achieving the performance levels the new manager produced.

The manager, therefore, coaches by verbalizing what they know: their history. They coach by telling the employee about their successes and expect performance to improve.

In fact, this fails to build appropriate relationships. It may also lead to resentment.

All told, this can make performance worse, not better.

Failure 2: Team Diversity

The only hiring process this manager knows is the one they went through. Now, they are charged with hiring. It’s comfortable for them to look for their clones.

While some similar positions may need similar people, diversity in backgrounds and skill sets are needed when building exceptional teams.

A team is still made up of individuals, but the goal is to have the team be greater than the sum of its parts.

Without team diversity, the new manager may not be building a team capable of exceptional results.

Failure 3: Conflict Resolution

A new manager may never have been involved in employee-to-employee or management-to-employee conflict.

Now, they have to manage such conflicts.

If they are not effectively managing conflict, job satisfaction will decrease, and so will performance.

Failures like these lead to frustration. While this new manager knows the job of the employees they are managing, they don’t know how to manage.

An investment in management training solves these problems.

Failure to properly train a front-line employee means one employee suffers; failure to train a new manager means the entire teams suffers.

To get stellar individual performers to become stellar managers, give them the training they need.

As Sun Tzu wrote in “The Art of War, “Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win.”

Make sure your managers are trained to win before you send them out to face new challenges.

Greg Raymond, a Training & Development Strategist at RedRover Sales & Marketing Strategy, can be reached at redrovercompany.com.

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