Congratulations! You’ve just been promoted to manager. Now what?
Professional and personal growth are often profoundly influenced by past bosses and mentors. They provide the encouragement and trust to keep team members motivated and performing at a high level. However, managers can struggle as they move from being individual contributors to having responsibility for others’ careers.
“Typical career progression involves increasing industry knowledge and experience, and gaining greater responsibility, but people management requires other skill sets that individuals may not get exposure to as they move up the ladder,” said Ruth Veloria, executive dean for University of Phoenix School of Business. “Managers must understand the different roles of those on their team, and can often benefit from training to develop the capabilities of all team members to achieve organizational goals and directives.”
How Success Differs When Individual Contributors Become Managers
In management roles, success is no longer defined by high-performing individuals but by the commitment and accomplishments of the team. “Sheltered employees are less likely to be motivated by their work and may feel constricted when attempting to contribute in the future,” said Veloria. “By communicating the vision, making team members part of the planning process and encouraging employee growth, managers can create a team culture that promotes high employee engagement and retention.”
How Strong Managers Can Delegate and Promote Both Autonomy and Teamwork
Managers leaving meetings with more to-dos than the team often suggests it’s time for an alternative approach, says Veloria. She adds that over time, you may begin to realize your team members are taking less initiative or doing less thoughtful work. This might be a sign they have gotten used to you doing or finalizing the work for them. When managers don’t focus on the bigger picture and take more of a “command and control” approach, it can create a blurred vision that limits team members’ ability to see the future and ultimately can demotivate them.
Giving Feedback, Growing Relationships and Spurring Camaraderie
Veloria says effective managers develop relationships with their team members and have a way of helping them realize their potential. Getting to know team members as people and being present in the moment is a key factor in creating a culture of trust and encouragement. This can be as simple as avoiding technology or other distractions during a face-to-face meeting.
What to Consider
Veloria offers a few hints to help you make a more effective transition from team member to team leader:
Bridging Leadership Gaps
To help meet the needs of managers, University of Phoenix has introduced more bite-size professional development and corporate training courses that focus on people and project management skills. The University says some of the more popular courses include Project Management, Data Analytics and Managing Conflict.
University of Phoenix has also revamped its Master of Management program to address the new leadership demands. The new MM helps students develop an investment-ready business plan, understand how data analytics are driving decision making, and gain the soft skills that are critical for team and project management success. A capstone project applies all the learning into practice for a new business, product line or project.
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