Three Critical Steps to Set Your Managers Up for Success

Managers can boost employee morale, help create more profits, and revolutionize your workplace.

Picture this. You’ve done your fair share of work, climbed up the corporate ladder, and have been awarded the prestigious title of manager. The promotion is great, the benefits are great, the pay is great, and life could not be more perfect. 

However, reality soon sets in, and you realize that managing a team has its own share of ups and downs. There’s a lot of preparation that goes into being a respected people leader! Unfortunately, although you have been given the title, you haven’t been prepared on how to take on the opportunity successfully. 

This scenario is not uncommon. Managers across the globe have been tasked to handle responsibilities they’re untrained to handle, causing them to get overwhelmed, frustrated, and exhausted. We’re not just bluffing here. The stats agree with us: In 2021, Gartner’s research said that 68% of managers are overwhelmed with the workload. 

So it’s time to alleviate some of that stress and focus on how you can train managers to set them up for success. 

Why should the focus be on managers?

We get where you’re coming from totally. In today’s uncertain world, everyone is suffering through inevitable setbacks, so why should the focus be solely on managers (especially if there’s a limited resource for skill building). 

But managers take precedence of importance for a few reasons:

  1. According to Gallup, poor management is costing the U.S. anywhere between $960 billion and $1.2 trillion per year. When we look at global estimates, poor management can result in a $7 trillion loss per year. 
  2. The phrase “people don’t leave organizations, they leave managers” rings true even today. Around 57% of people have quit their jobs because of bad managers, according to DDI research
  3. Disengaged managers can result in disengaged, unproductive, and unhappy employees (which leads to low employee morale and higher turnover rates), which is good news for nobody. 

So, in TL;DR, managers are overtasked and undertrained, and we need to focus on managers first to improve the organization as a whole. 

Common problems faced by managers and how to address them

The transition from buddy to boss

The downside of being promoted to a managerial role is that you go from being a peer to a peer’s boss (a buddy to a boss, basically). This transition can create friction between personal and professional boundaries and stir emotions like jealousy and frustration.

There’s also a risk that your friends might either not take you seriously or might take you too seriously — either way, both situations have some downside, and each creates a sizable assumption of losing friends.

The solution

  1. Help them find a balance 

There’s a fine line between an authoritative boss and an attentive friend, and that line can get muddy during a transition as such. To help your employees create a balance and establish certain boundaries, you need to give them leadership training, so they don’t overstep in any situation. 

Many programs out there specialize in buddy-to-boss training, like the Bud to Boss workshop or the HRx Management Training, which can help them transition into the role. Your employees might also benefit by having open communication at a one-on-one level to clear out any misunderstandings and start on a new page. 

  1. Provide the assistance of a mentor

If it proves to be challenging to transition into the role seamlessly, and it seems like your managers might need more assistance, there’s no one better to help them than someone who’s walked on the same path as them. 

The benefit of mentors is that they can not only help you navigate the problems you face currently, but they can also prepare you for the problems you might face in the future. Besides, mentors are usually unbiased in their opinion and will not hesitate to point out areas of accomplishment and improvement, both. 

If you’re looking for more resources to support managers during this transition, here’s a guide that might help: From Buddy to Boss: Successfully Transition to Leadership

Inadequate support from organization heads

According to a study by West Monroe Partners, a large percentage of managers have had no training before taking on the role. And even those with a decade worth of managerial experience behind them have only received nine hours of training in total. 

Inadequate support from organizational heads leads to poor leaders, and as discussed above, poor leadership results in losses of as much as $960 billion – $1.2 trillion per year. 

The solution

The ways to address this issue are endless. Developing managers into people leaders is not just about giving them more authority and setting expectations. Training these individuals in the skills they will need for success is crucial before asking that they take on such a leadership role within your organization.

You can also support them by taking their feedback, building systems for them, and allowing automation to reduce their workload of administrative tasks. Core Ai™ can assist here by helping your managers track and assess tasks and insights through a simple, interactive dashboard). Learn more about our solution here

Time management to optimize impact in an organization

Alright, so maybe all managers don’t deploy this tactic, but some managers believe in a certain management guide (cough, Break All Rules, cough), which tells them they should spend most of their time with their highest-performing employees, not their lowest. 

To avoid the pitfalls of “sink or swim” management, you must consider all employees and their level of performance. This means giving your highest-performing workers more leeway in terms of how they approach specific tasks so long as these individuals meet deadlines and work with integrity; while still holding other team members accountable for meeting assigned goals/tasks at hand.

The solution

First and foremost, you might benefit by letting your managers know that your workplace culture doesn’t support this practice. It might also be essential to highlight the principles of your workplace culture (such as making every employee feel included, appreciated, and valued). 

Next up, we suggest you create a strategy with them to help them improve the performance of their low-performance employees. Here’s a guide that might help: How Managers Can Help Low Performing Employees

Wrapping up

If there’s anything we have learned from this article is that it’s hard to be a manager these days. With so much on their plate, it can often feel like they’ve got the weight of an entire company resting on them! They struggle sometimes and deserve to be encouraged and supported as they develop. 

These are just a few ways you can help your managers. Still, if you want to go a step further and help them gain insight, deliver effective feedback, and equip top talent, then Core Ai’s digital coaching platform can help you empower your managers to lead with confidence. 

Connect with us to schedule a free demo.