Five tricks for HR to more effectively manage managers

CHIEF OF STAFF FIVE: A manager, while being good at their job and solving problems, must also effectively support their team.

This means that they must be a role model, an inspiring leader, an engaging speaker, great at reading people and know exactly what to say to motivate the people in their team.

When people are promoted into a managerial position, they may know how to do the job, but it doesn’t mean that they have the skills needed to be a leader.

Managing managers is an important part of keeping an organisation operating smoothly, but it is different from managing other employees.

1. Embrace different management styles

Higher ups and mid-level managers do not need to have the same perspective. Different outlooks can provide diverse views in the workplace, foster creativity, and foster collaboration.

Being a manager means being a leader, this means being able to perform without supervision. When leading a group of leaders, it can be tempting to take more of an active role in how they manage their work, but this will only hurt the manager’s ability to develop their leadership skills.

On the other side of the spectrum, some newer managers may be unsure of what to do and seek out guidance often. In this situation, it’s also important to give them space to encourage their independence. When they are able to lead themselves, they’re better equipped to lead others.

2. Prepare them for obstacles and challenges

Managers face a different set of challenges compared to other employees, and it’s HR’s responsibility to prepare them for the task at hand.

New managers will have to learn new skills on the fly like how to hire, fire and deal with employee relations.

A manager handbook or a few days of management training won’t be very effective.

The higher ups in the workplace can consider either recording short micro-lessons or utilise bite-sized learning platforms like QuickHR or CoursePlay that allows managers to look up things that they are unsure about exactly when they need it.

3. Coaching or mentoring

It might be a good idea to partner up new managers with a successful mentor or coach from within the organisation that can guide them through their unique position.

This will ensure that new managers are able to have regular and open communication with other managers so that they can easily identify areas that need improvement, while also having access to someone who can help them with that.

It might also be a good idea to set up weekly coaching sessions so that valuable insights can be shared throughout the managerial chain of command.

4. See managers in action

Higher ups should take some time to see managers in the act of managing so they can share feedback and observations.

This can be done by observing team meetings, conducting job interviews together, joining them on site visits or reviewing performance evaluations with the managers before they are sent out.

It may also be a good opportunity for executives to gain some insight into different management styles as well.

5. Motivate and inspire them

Employee motivation is influenced by their managers, and similarly a manager’s motivation is influenced by their managers.

By modelling strong leadership skills, HRs can create a cascade effect that trickles down to junior employees.

This not only means motivating leaders to succeed, but also fostering an environment where they are inspired to do the same for their teams.

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