Some first-time managers approach their new role as if wading into a minefield. They identify the mines as possible opportunities to fail. Intimidated by the potential for failure, they avoid taking risks and may remain in the comfort of their office with the door closed. They seem to have lost the very qualities that got them promoted to management, such as the courage to innovate. Fear is powerful–the fear of making a mistake. What can companies do to help first-time managers overcome this fear?
Companies that cultivate a culture where mistakes are not to be feared but a part of the learning and growth curve will find managers who can innovate, engage, and drive up company revenues.
Reticence, meet risk-taking
A recent article in TheMuse echoes that general reticence is a common first-time manager pitfall. “Refusing to make decisions” and “holding back” are some standard hurdles for new managers. The problem comes when the reticence seems to settle in. A manager who is hesitant to make a decision can make this his/her modus operandi. “Sitting back and taking too long to start managing can backfire,” the article from TheMuse states, “Without guidance, your team can flounder fast—and in the process, they will likely question your authority and ability to get things done.” The way forward for many managers is often by taking small steps to engage their team. Intentional discussions about the team’s goals, with clear explanations about how individuals can contribute, is just one way to boost engagement.
Positive personal impact, or lack thereof
Another area upon which companies should focus to empower first-time managers is in coaching. Only a fraction of managers possess a natural blend of charisma, contagious passion, and infectious enthusiasm that inspires and motivates people. Thankfully, performance management, namely of coaching employees, can be taught. In their latest research collaboration on coaching and leadership development, the International Coach Federation and Human Capital Institute have found companies with a strong coaching culture reported that 61 percent of their employees are highly engaged, compared to 53 percent from companies without strong coaching cultures. Fostering a strong coaching culture can drive engagement and ultimately growth as well. According to the same research, 46 percent of respondents in organizations with strong coaching cultures reported above-average 2016 revenue growth versus industry peers.
Is your organization looking to foster a better coaching culture? Download our Coach for Performance guide or Schedule a demo of ManagementPlus to learn more about the ways in which you can empower first-time managers.