Management – let’s just make it up as we go along!
It’s a common assumption that if an individual possesses the technical skills required in a particular role, they will be good managers for other employees in the same role. It’s easy to forget that managers need more than just knowledge of the jobs they are managing, they also need an additional skill set to make them good at leading fellow employees.
However, this common misconception could be potentially disastrous for both the newly appointed manager and the business as a whole. After all, you would not give the keys to a bus or HGV to anyone with a driver’s license and expect them to be able to drive it, just as you cannot expect someone who can score a goal for their local five-a-side team to become a professional footballer. To become competent at the next level of a career, management training is an absolute necessity.
Why are some companies reluctant to train their managers in management skills?
The reluctance of some companies to train their managers properly may potentially be down to the fact that they simply do not look for the additional skills required to make a good manager. Promotions have always been based on performance and ability to carry out the work for which the employee has been hired. If the employee shows both performance and ability to an outstanding degree, then it is understandable that some companies would assume that the next logical step would be management.
If a company does expect an employee to be able to step into a managerial position based on their performance alone, the cost of a training course would obviously seem like a pointless expense. They are unlikely to recognise any return of investment if they do not believe any additional skills are required. This would therefore mean that the disadvantages of cost, time and absence would seem to outweigh any advantages.
However, being technically skilled does not mean that the employee is ready to take on a management role, as they may lack experience with their own managers to know how to interact with their employees.
What are the additional skills required to be a good manager?
Many additional skills are required for an employee to step into a managerial position and be successful. They must be able to communicate and develop relationships with employees. They must also be able to motivate staff and become a leader rather than a dictator.
It is imperative that employees can feel a connection to their immediate line manager so that they are engaged and happy at work, as this will obviously have an impact on productivity and the quality of their output. The only way to achieve this is to communicate with them, motivate them and inspire them effectively.
How to aid the transition to management
As with establishing any skill, developing the communication, organisation and planning skills of a manager requires relevant training. A training course can give a manager the skills that might otherwise be lacking through experience with their own manager.
Although the initial cost and time required to attend these courses may be off-putting, it is worth it in the long run as not only will the managers find the skills to become great leaders, but it will create a happier workforce overall.