It may be obvious when spoken aloud, but as business owners, we’re all too guilty of it:
You cannot simply promote a team member and expect them to suddenly gain management skills.
It’s a mistake made across every industry. We choose someone who is hard working and who excels in their role. They deserve to move up after all their hard work, so we promote them into a management or team leadership role.
But suddenly we experience problems such as:
- Lower productivity and output from the new manager.
- Increased role dissatisfaction and motivation from their reporting team members.
- General disorganisation in the day-to-day running of the business.
This can be hugely impactful, whether your new promotion is a small team within a larger office-based organisation, or whether the manager has become responsible for an entire site, such as a shop.
Why Do New Managers and Team Leaders Struggle?
Let’s take an example. Imagine you run a chain of restaurants.
In our industry, we’ve seen it time and time again. The business requires a new manager, and seeks to promote from within it’s current team members. After all, promoting from internal means those who have committed to the company and worked hard get their deserved reward.
But the fatal mistake business owners make, is that they assume because someone is great at their current role, that they will automatically be a great manager.
It’s easy to assume, the skills overlap don’t they? Skills such as:
- Great timekeeping
- Personal motivation and drive
- Great at building relationships with colleagues
- Hardworking and goal driven
And of course, they know your business inside out. They have experience of the challenges faced by the team members who deliver, i.e. in this scenario, your serving staff.
However, a manager needs one key skill above all else, and it’s a skill your newly promoted former server will likely have no experience of; people management.
Sure, they can juggle ten plates at once, have a stellar customer rapport and make the busy periods seem easy-going with their cracking ability to keep track of tables in their head. But they’ve never managed a team before. They don’t understand the psychology of motivation. They don’t know how to deal with a difficult or struggling member of their team.
You as a business owner, have not equipped them for their role.
Once the initial thrill of a promotion wears off, it gives way to stress, feelings of inadequacy and ultimately, a likely move away from your company.
And just like that, you’ve lost your strongest team member.
What Skills Do I Need To Equip New Managers With?
The first thing to remember is that management is not an easy add-on to a team member’s role.
Too many businesses consider it to be a simple authority boost, with few additional duties.
If we return to our example of the restaurant manager, the business owner in this situation must accept that in giving out new management role duties, they will need to remove some of the previous duties that team member was responsible for, in order to allow them to manage effectively.
So for example, you may dedicate one day a week where the manager is not on the floor of your restaurant, but instead deals with administration and projects to help your team perform better.
Aside from that, your new manager will need training in skills such as:
- Leadership Styles
- Organisational Strategies
- Team Motivation, Reviews and Appraisals
- HR Law and Best Practice
- Rotas and Absence Management
- Communication Skills
- Project Delivery & Management
- Financial Skills
- Decision Making & Delegation
Training may seem like it could take valuable time from your new manager’s role, or cost a significant amount to your business, however, that’s not always the case.
How To Train a Manager
There are several options for training your new managers and team leaders, let’s review them:
Short Courses / Day Courses
Short courses and day courses are often delivered by a training company or online provider. They are quick and convenient, meaning your new manager can gain new skills in the areas most relevant to their role rapidly.
That said, they can be extremely expensive, with some courses running into the £1000s for a single day. They can also be too focused, only covering a single skill.
The other disadvantage, is that these courses are often delivered by people who are not qualified tutors, and the skills gained are not recognised qualifications from any awarding body.
Too many business owners believe apprenticeships are just for new starters, when in fact, they are an extremely affordable (and sometimes free) training scheme offered by the government.
You can use apprenticeships such as the Team Leader / Supervisor Apprenticeship Level 3 or the Operations / Departmental Manager Level 5 to equip your future leaders with extremely thorough leadership skills.
Apprenticeships take very little time out of your team’s schedule and are delivered by industry-expert tutors. They result in a professional qualification, and the programmes are designed and refined over time to cover modern and essential knowledge.