7 Things To Consider Before Promoting An Employee To Manager

November 7, 2016 - 6 minutes read

Promotions To Management For The First Time Is Monumental

Being promoted into a management position for the first time is a big deal. This means that the company making the investment by training and promoting from within is supporting their employee. The manager who is doing the promoting has an opportunity to award their team member for their hard work. For the person receiving the promotion, this is probably a goal they’ve been working towards for a long time and this is an opportunity for them to advance in their career. As a manager, lots of preparation goes into grooming someone to receive a promotion into management for the first time. Here are 7 things to consider before promoting an employee to manager for the first time.

Not Everyone Is Management Material

There’s a misconception that currently exists in the corporate world that is doing more harm than good. In order to obtain career growth, businesses include a promotion into a management position as part of a person’s career progression. The truth is that not all team members want to be a manager, but they do want an opportunity to grow both in the company and their career. Rather than promote someone into a management position because it’s the norm, recognize that not everyone is management material or is even interested in being a manager. Work with each team member to build a career path that best supports their strengths and ambitions.

Mentor First, Promote Second

Statistics show that 60% of first-time managers will fail within their first year. Not only is this stressful for a new manager, but it costs businesses money. Before promoting anyone into a management position, give them an opportunity to learn with the support of a more seasoned and experienced team member. Shadowing someone to see what it’s actually like to manage will help build confidence.

Be Able To Do The Job Before Promoting

When it comes to promoting, our general advice is to make sure the team member can do a job before receiving a promotion. There is a fine line here because there’s always the risk that the person doing the job may feel resentment for doing something they’re not being paid or recognized to do, however, if you openly communicate the plan and provide realistic guidance, the team member will understand. Be sure to follow up with the commitment by promoting the person in a timely and fair manner.

Provide Leadership Training

Invest in your employee and provide them with professional leadership training. Sending them to 3rd party training programs will give them an outside perspective and will also allow them to connect with leaders outside the company. Encourage attending leadership training workshops or programs to help with career growth.

Implement A 90-Day Plan

The first 90-days of anyone’s employment in a new position is crucial. Think of it as a probationary period where you’re able to help guide the person to success by outlining expectations and also see if they’re a good fit for the position. Sit down with the new manager prior to their promotion and outline the first 90-days as if they’re a new employee. This will help to ensure that everyone’s on the same page and that the new person is getting the support they need to succeed.

Schedule Weekly 1 to 1 Touchpoints

Take time to schedule weekly 1 to 1 meetings with the new manager. Review the 90-day plan during these meetings and help keep the new manager on the defined path. It’s easy for a new manager to become overwhelmed and veer from this path, so it’s important to keep them on track and help support them by clearing any obstacles that may get in their way.

Let Mistakes Happen

New managers are going to make mistakes and the truth is that this is the best opportunity for them to learn. Stay out of the way by letting them make mistakes. Only intervene if the mistake is an absolute emergency – meaning it’ll be too costly or will surely result in a failure that is intolerable. When intervening, let the new manager know why and educate them along the way so they have an opportunity to learn and avoid these types of decisions in the future.

Far too often we see businesses promote team members into management positions and the end result is a negative experience for all. By taking time to prepare and groom, the chances for success increase, making the experience a more positive one for all involved.

Does your company promote team members into management positions without preparing or providing leadership training? What types of challenges is your team faced with as a result?