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Making Good Managers Part 1: How to Hire or Promote the Right Leaders

Making Good Managers Part 1: How to Hire or Promote the Right Leaders

3 Tips for Making Good Managers

1: Don’t hire/promote based on performance unrelated to leadership

2: Look for evidence of management capability

3: Provide ongoing support

A good manager is worth their weight in productivity. The National Bureau of Economic Research studied the impact of low-performing managers. It found that replacing a low-performing manager with a high-performing one can greatly boost productivity. It can have the same impact as adding an extra person to the team, without having to hire anyone new.

In other words, a good leader makes a tangible – and measurable – difference. Good leaders motivate their teams, actively help their people overcome obstacles, and foster trust and cohesion in the workplace. By contrast, a bad manager can be catastrophic.

Gallup has found that nearly one-half of employees have left a company specifically to get away from a bad manager. These are managers who communicate poorly and engage badly, making work harder and less pleasant than it needs to be. They increase burnout, resentment, and disengagement. Ultimately, bad managers lead to the loss of valuable employees.

Good managers can have a significant impact on an organization, while bad managers can be extremely harmful. How can organizations be sure they make the right decisions when hiring or promoting someone to a leadership position?

1: Don’t hire/promote based on performance unrelated to leadership

The so-called Peter Principle is one of the most common causes of otherwise good workers ending up as bad managers. For instance, imagine your sales team includes a star performer who can outsell anyone you’ve ever known. Their sheer performance leads the company to promote them to being in charge of the sales team.

The problem is that the skills that underly good salesmanship aren’t necessarily the same ones that underly good leadership. The characteristics that make a sales rep successful may not be applicable to management. The Peter Principle occurs when organizations promote skilled employees to positions they cannot effectively handle.

2: Look for evidence of management capability

To prevent the new manager from becoming a bad manager, it's important to make sure that they possess the necessary skills. To select effective leaders, prioritize a thorough hiring and promotion process that accurately evaluates their management abilities.

For example, in the interviewing process, make them provide evidence they possess management. This may include specific capabilities, e.g., asking them about a time they motivated their direct reports to meet a challenging objective.

3: Provide ongoing support

Regardless of how good the hire may be, it is important to not leave new leaders hanging without support. That creates a setup-to-fail scenario. Instead, starting from the onboarding process, provide ample support to new managers.

Past success in a management or leadership role does not guarantee future success. While it can serve as a foundation, it is crucial to provide support and resources to help them succeed. Make a plan for providing support and training the newly promoted manager.

Key Takeaways

Having good managers is critical for a business's success. Promoting or hiring employees merely based on their performance and not their leadership skills can lead to the Peter Principle. This occurs when organizations promote capable employees to positions they cannot handle effectively.

During the hiring and promotion process, candidates should showcase their management skills. They can do this by discussing how they motivated their teams to achieve challenging objectives. Without onboarding support, new managers may struggle and feel set up to fail.

To help new managers, they should get ongoing support through training, mentorship, and access to resources. Having reliable managers is worth the investment since high-performing ones can increase productivity and employee satisfaction. Bad managers, on the other hand, can reduce morale and lead to employee turnover.

Follow these three tips to make good managers:

  • Avoid hiring on only performance.
  • Seek out individuals who demonstrate a high level of management aptitude.
  • Provide continuous support to facilitate growth and success

Read more from the 'Making Good Managers' Series!

Explore the "Making Good Managers" series to uncover a wealth of valuable insights on leadership development. The series covers the key aspects of developing leaders, tailored to the needs of business owners like you. Learn about identifying high-potential leaders, planning effective career paths, and enabling problem-solving skills.

Find the keys to building a robust leadership pipeline and driving long-term success in today's ever-changing business landscape. Follow the links below to embark on a journey toward cultivating impactful and successful leaders in your business:

Part 2: How to Hire or Promote the Right Leaders

Part 3: Identify High-Potential Leaders

Part 4: How to Plan Effective Career Paths

Part 5: How to Develop Good Leaders

Enhance your business with effective management. Our advisors and HR solutions can help. Good managers boost productivity, motivate teams, and build trust. Avoid the impact of bad managers. Make informed decisions, and support new managers. Contact us today to experience effective leadership.