In the last year, we’ve seen unprecedented demand for our New Manager Training and Coaching.
Part of what we’ve addressed has been basic managerial skills. Project and change management, delegating responsibilities, enabling collaboration, and managing team performance with a fair and methodical process.
And part of it has been communication and EQ. Developing a culture of trust and innovation, asking the right questions, coaching rather than managing, and leading team meetings effectively.
Our new manager training has tackled all of this and more. So, we’ve put together some best practices from our learnings.
1. Learn project management AND change management skills.
2020 was a year of tremendous change, and it was important for leaders and managers to swiftly adjust plans and convey news to their teams transparently and empathetically. Learning both effective project management and change management is invaluable in being able to manage teams through unexpected change and ensure everyone is on the same page.
2. Develop and codify a performance management process.
Having a fair, unbiased, and agile performance management process gives team members clarity on expectations. Giving regular feedback and coaching as part of the process is essential so there are no surprises come promotion time.
3. Agree on remote communication norms.
Remote teams have been a special challenge in the last year, and managers who have aimed to micromanage during this time have seen backlash. It’s important to show trust for your team members, while having in place communication norms and routines. For example, 15 minute daily standups for teams in the mornings. Recognize that each team member may have a unique situation. Thus, it is important to have a 1-on-1 with each person to decide about weekly check-ins and modes of communication.
4. Understand both the skill and behavior needs for new hires.
New managers often struggle with asking the ‘right’ questions to prospective candidates. This arises partially due to a lack of clarity on what is truly needed for the role. First, make sure you’re clear on what you’re looking for. Then, make your interview process consistent for each candidate to minimize bias.
5. Develop a culture of innovation.
Allow team members the opportunity to improve on processes, offer their feedback, and experiment with new ideas. You might schedule some ‘innovation time’ each week for the team to work on ideas and brainstorm with one another.
New managers need the right kind of support to transition into their roles. Unfortunately, many companies simply overlook it to their detriment. Companies can dramatically boost team productivity and growth by training new managers in these key skills using agile, brain-based learning methods.