What Are Ineffective Managers Costing You?
Effective managers are the single most important factor in engaging employees, motivating employees, and building a productive workplace. Yet the lack of managerial depth is a serious problem for growing organizations. A company’s ability to grow is directly related to its ability to add managerial capacity to support its growth.
Managerial Requirements Change With Growth
The managerial skills needed in a larger company are different from those in smaller firms, and are usually in short supply when the organization has grown rapidly. In addition to the limitations of many owner-founders are those of the other key managers who were hired when the firm was small. For one thing, these managers now need to direct departments instead of handling tasks themselves. This becomes problematic when managers are “managers” in title only.
Doers Aren’t Always Ready to Be Managers
Most organizations do not set mangers up for success. “Doers,” star individual contributors, technical experts – the top sales rep, the brilliant engineer, the best accountant, the savvy IT genius – that are promoted to manger are magically expected to know how to manage. Competent “doers” that have been promoted to manager roles without the proper training very often fail because they lack the experience and core management skills needed to manage or lead. While they may excel in technical or operational areas, the human element of the equation is left to chance.
The Root Causes of Managerial Problems
- Managers don’t understand their role. Managers need to understand that it’s not about individual performance; instead, it’s about blending the talents of everyone into a high-performing team.
- Managers don’t understand the company’s business. Managers must understand and be able to clearly articulate the company’s strategy and know their role in bringing it to life.
- Managers don’t understand how to connect their team to the business. Mangers have to be able to translate the big picture to their teams so that people understand how their individual role contributes to the organization’s overall success.
- Managers don’t understand how to produce results through their teams. Mangers must master the basics of effective interpersonal skills, building working relationships, setting clear expectations, coaching and developing individuals, and following up to ensure their teams deliver results.
When any or all of these situations are present, something is wrong with the way the organization develops managers. Poor management development results in low employee engagement, high turnover, and customers who may not receive the best service or experience – all areas in which organizations can’t afford to fall short. These factors directly impact business growth and profitability.
Develop Managers Before They Are Needed
If your business doesn’t have enough effective managers, you have not made the necessary commitment to develop your existing managers and high-potential candidates. Without proper planning, the organization may be forced to promote people quickly and these people will often be put into management positions for which they are not prepared.
Successful growth companies avoid many of these pitfalls by developing a pool of talent before it is needed. They recognize that it is more difficult to correct chaos than prevent it by having good talent available. This preparation is almost always done while the firm is doing well and typically couched as “preparation for the next phase of growth.” Firms that stumble, on the other hand, tend to wait until they have encountered trouble. In a rapid growth environment, that is often too late.
Effective managers are needed at all levels of the organization to facilitate continued growth. Instead of firefighting and fixing things, compensating for the poor work of others, or simply doing things because “I can do it better than anyone else,” effective managers must be overseers, resources, and guides that support, motivate, and lead their teams.
The top performing “doers” don’t magically become great people leaders just because they are given the title of “manager.” It requires ability, training, and practice to learn what is a very different set of skills. Understand this difference and you’ll select, prepare, and support effective managers.
Invest in the development your managers like the strategic assets they are.
Are you selecting, preparing, and supporting effective managers?