Every role in an organization can contribute to overall success, but few make as big of an impact as management positions. This is because a workforce can only be as strong as the manager taking the lead. Unfortunately, when an unprepared individual is thrust into a managerial role, it can drastically hurt your company’s bottom line. At a time when less than 33% of projects are successfully completed on time and on budget, it’s clear that stronger managerial training is needed in many organizations.
Watching an employee work their way up the ranks is exciting, and it’s natural to want to further promote a hard worker. However, it’s often the case that an employee in a very technical role receives a promotion to a managerial-level position simply because there’s no other way to increase their responsibilities or salary within an organization. In such a case, while that technician intimately understands the roles they will manage, they likely have little to no actual managerial expertise. It is this scenario that hurts businesses every day.
Your promoted employee can certainly mean well, but an inexperienced manager sets the stage for an inefficient workforce. While they can understand the tasks of their subordinates, do they know how to manage employee vacation calendars? Have they ever had to fire an employee? If they came from a heavy technical background, do they have the soft skills training necessary to be able to speak to business leaders, a board of directors, or company owners? Can they present quarterly reports to investors? Being a manager takes a broad range of skills. Without previous experience or managerial training, an unprepared manager could directly cause drops in productivity in their employees.
Even more alarming than decreased efficiency is the higher risk and liability that a company will experience due to hiring an inexperienced manager. Discrimination and harassment violations can destroy a company’s image (and profits) rapidly. Managers are held to a higher standard than regular staff because they represent the company and are responsible for keeping their employees from falling into questionable tendencies or activities. Does a newly-minted manager understand what actions constitute harassment when they see it, and know how to document it? Do they know what sort of things they can or cannot say to their employees? It is crucial for a new manager (and any manager at that) to have risk and liability training as well as proper compliance training to avoid any problems that could arise from neglecting policies and laws.
A new manager can affect culture and workplace dynamics in a number of ways. If they were promoted internally and are now managing the workers who were their peers just a week ago, those employees may feel resentment. Their coworker and friend is now their boss with the power to fire them or give them a raise. Perhaps they expect that new manager to still be their buddy and give them preferential treatment. This is a difficult situation for a new, untrained manager. Will they become power hungry and micro manage their employees? Will they be too lax, joking around inappropriately or playing favorites with old pals? If they’re not careful, they can alienate employees and cause a cultural shift that affects morale, productivity, retention, and profits.
Even the brightest, hardest-working new managers are likely to negatively affect the company’s bottom line if they do not receive proper managerial training. Managers must understand their role both on paper and in practice, and be skilled in conflict resolution, communication, performance reviews, organization, firing, hiring, and more. On-the-job training may work for roles with less responsibility, but it’s not an option for management.
Today’s tight profit margins, high turnover rates, and shortened deadlines mean managers are under heavy scrutiny. If an employee rises to a management position without previous managerial experience, then they may very well lack a high-level understanding of how to be successful in their new role. In such a case, comprehensive proper managerial training is the only answer.