Performance | Quick fixes to get better engagement from new managers

Quick fixes to get better engagement from new managers

Work in a people development function and find yourself faced with the following?

Your new managers are shying away from difficult situations such as giving performance reviews and teams are getting frustrated.

Newly promoted managers are taking a little longer to get used to the role than you anticipated, and you’re actually spending more time checking in on them.

You’re not alone. We talk with people functions looking at ways to improve their employee experience and personal development programmes, who tell us once they conduct the audit and ‘lift the bonnet’ they’re faced with all sorts of horror stories.

And it’s not just employers. Viewers tell us what content topics they’d like us to create to help them build their confidence. There’s been a big change in requests, with new managers telling us they’re struggling but don’t want to share their concern for fear they’ll get the promotion taken away.

Here are a few questions posed to us that may give you an insight to where their concerns lay:

  • Do I change the way I talk to colleagues?

  • How do I manage Chris who everyone knows is difficult?

  • I was down the pub with the team last week, do I need to change next week?

  • Danni’s better than me, why was I promoted?

Time for a statistic:

71% of employers say they don’t train first time managers, according to Investors in People.

The issue with this is that it can have a significant impact on the manager, their teams and the business.

If you’ve promoted someone that was awesome in their role, they may put a lot of pressure on themselves to replicate the same level of success. They’ll expect to be a brilliant manager from day one, which we all know is not realistic.

The downside to this is every interaction they have with their direct reports will impact their experience. And all that work you’ve been doing to really make your employee experience great, is wasted.

People don’t leave businesses they leave managers (and will go on to tell their friends)

Let’s look at some ways you can support these workers by making a few introductions to your onboarding and people development plans. These suggestions are based on the most commonly asked questions posed to us. If you want to learn more, download our guide The New Manager’s Confidence Boost Kit.

Set expectations: tell them it’s normal to feel a little out of their depth!

Managing their mindset is important and can set the course for the duration of their time with you. Get them used to the fact that the people management part of the role will take them away from things that play to their strengths, there are days where it is going to be tough and that they didn’t promote you expecting the finished article.

Create a space where they can experiment - without consequence.

People, by nature, are worried about making a mistake; they don’t see it as part of development. Despite many great developments arising from mistakes, in some business cultures to make a mistake is viewed as costly, not a learning opportunity. So look at ways to create psychological safety in your culture that lets them know it’s okay to make mistakes.

These are just a few ways to engage your new managers. Boost their confidence by addressing the concerns they’re really struggling with. Download our handy guide packed with tips to develop the confidence of new managers.

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