“Leader and manager development” is at the top of the list of priorities for HR leaders during 2024, according to Gartner’s annual HR Priorities survey.
According to the survey, here are several of the factors driving this priority:
- Productivity anxiety
- Employee conflict
- Mutual distrust between employees and bosses
- Pressure for operational proficiency
- Bosses (managers) are overwhelmed by the growth of job responsibilities
- Bosses (managers) are poorly equipped to lead change
The bottom line – here are the mistakes we often make:
- We wait until the new leader or boss has been given the job title before we provide the tools and training required to do the job. But that is not enough!
- We assume there is no difference between being a top performer versus being the boss. But leveling up and the added responsibilities will cause failure. (Level up = emotional intelligence, flexibility, and resilience to name a few).
- We subscribe to the traditional sink or swim mentality of letting them figure out their new job on their own! (Yes, there are still employers that rely on this poor practice.) We only intervene when it’s necessary to put the new leader or boss on a performance improvement plan or fire them if there is too much turnover, conflict, or other nefarious outcomes!
All of these costly mistakes ensure loss of top talent and customers, while negatively impacting business revenues and results.
How to Prepare Future Leaders and Bosses
Develop a Career Pathway.
- What are the person’s primary interests and goals?
- How can they achieve these in your workplace culture?
- What type of training and education is required to meet the company and the person’s goals?
Map out the career pathway in writing and provide the dollars necessary. Remember, not all people should be or want to be bosses or managers of people to move up in the company. This often-overlooked issue can be very expensive when the person fails and leaves the company. All their knowledge, experience, and other attributes go with them! And, your reputation as an employer suffers too. Create different career ladders and opportunities for employee growth. This should include exposure to cross-training and other customer related opportunities.
Use Valid and Reliable Job-Fit Assessments. It’s important to hire and promote based on job fit. Another benefit of using objective data and predictive validity (the ability to measurement or predict future performance in a job) is the ability to change the job responsibilities to fit the incumbent’s thinking style, core behaviors, and occupational interests! Some job-fit assessments also provide leadership reports with objective data and insights into strengths and areas for development. Remember, people today refuse to work in jobs that don’t reflect their interests and do not provide perceived value to advance them on their career pathway!
Now, Provide Hands-On Training and Development:
Build Expertise. While providing ongoing leadership and management training is important, it’s even more important that they are given opportunities to use the training and develop those skills!
Example: “1 in 5 managers would prefer not being people managers.” Yet, guiding them to learn how to work with and through other people is required in most jobs. But managing people working on projects is different than managing people on a daily basis.
Ideas for development include: leading team projects, working on a corporate team project, being on boards for non-profits and for-profits too, volunteering, etc. The key is to ensure they are actively participating and not just observing!
Proficiency with Technology. Technology and innovation are here to stay! It’s important future leaders and bosses develop an entrepreneurial spirit or curiosity to think like a business leader and drive needed change. If they don’t have the authentic curiosity or interest in technology or business, your company and customers will suffer.
Provide Talent Mobility. Post jobs and allow employees to be considered for them. This provides incentives for them to expand their skills and knowledge – always critical components to improving retention, revenues, and results! Remember to use a strategic job fit selection system for internal job transfers and promotions. Have candidates interview for the job as if they were new job candidates. Also, review their job-fit assessment results and training and education to-date.
Ask these types of questions (these are offered to get you thinking):
- What was your most recent mistake? What did you do to fix it? What did you learn from it? (Listen for: coachability, awareness)
- How have you used xxx (pick one or two new skills) effectively? How do you know you were using it effectively? (Listen for: ability to adapt, be flexible, and use skill appropriately)
Also, conduct internal reference checks. Example: True story – a young man was promoted by his boss because of the young man’s likability. The problem? He wasn’t courteous or likable by his co-workers and customers(!) – his overconfidence and ego got in the way too often!
Use Objective 360-Degree Feedback Assessments. Many companies use internally designed 360-feedback questionnaires. Most of these create a lot of employee apprehension rather than provide valid insights for bosses and leaders. The main reason? There is no objective measurement being used! Pay now or pay later when using internally designed 360-degree tools versus professionally validated assessments.
©Jeannette Seibly 2024 All Rights Reserved
Jeannette Seibly is a Talent Advisor/Leadership Results Coach with over 31 years of experience guiding leaders and bosses to improve their hiring, coaching, and managing practices and produce amazing results! And yes, achieving business success always starts with having the right people in the right jobs! She has been an Authorized PXT Select Partner for over 31 years. Contact Jeannette to learn more about this state-of-the-art job-fit assessment tool or how to coach and manage your people to achieve extraordinary results.
A note from Jeannette: Are your leaders and managers (bosses) ready to lead? Are they comfortable with change? Do they have the interests to develop the skills and competencies required? Want to tap into my 31++ years of experience of developing effective leaders and bosses? Contact me now with your questions!
It’s time to get honest and genuine! Are there days you dread managing people, projects, and your team’s financial performance? You’re not alone! Everyone has their blind spots! NOW is the time to get the guidance you need to make the right changes for 2024. I have extensive experience and wisdom guiding bosses and leaders to hire, coach, and manage their teams successfully. The bonus is that they achieve unprecedented results. Contact me to learn more about my in-depth, one-on-one, customized coaching programs.