Becoming a leader or manager at an organization is a great step forward in the career of any worker. However, most people would admit that the title comes along with new challenges. According to the latest survey by careerBuilder, more than a quarter (translating to 26 percent) of managers said they were not ready for leadership when they started managing others. Moreover, 58 percent admitted that they did not receive any management training (Huhman, 2011). When asked what their biggest challenge as managers were, they responded as follows;
• Motivating team members – 22%
• Dealing with issues between co-workers on the team – 25 %
• Creating career paths for team members – 12%
• Finding the resources necessary to support the team – 15 %
• Performance reviews – 15 %
The above managerial issues would be attributed to inadequate management training and mentorship programs in organizations. According to Rosemary Haefner, the vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder, proper management skills can impact not only the performance and productivity of a firm but also the morale of employees. This is the main reason why more companies in the contemporary world are investing in management and mentorship training programs so as to develop the leaders of today and tomorrow. However, new managers should take control of their own learning since not every company sends their new managers to workshops on how to manage given today’s challenging economic times. The following ways can be used to accomplish this approach;
• Educating oneself – This can be achieved through reading every leadership book available and downloading teleconferences that can be listened to when one is on their way to and from work.
• Finding a mentor – Managers can look for an individual who is already where they want to be and can help guide them through that part of their career.
• Connecting with other new managers – Managers can consult fellow new managers especially those in a similar position for ideas and support needed to make it through rough patches.
Providing new managers solid management development training focused on people or management skills helps them understand that the key is to hold people accountable, set clear expectations, take care of the entire team and communicate frequently. Assigning good managers to mentor the new is also recommended. This means a person who can take a newbie under their wings ad show them the ropes. It should also be an individual who listens to them and cares about their success. An excellent coach and mentor will model good and desirable behavior for new supervisors to learn. Constructive mentorship can be done informally when junior, and senior managers strike up a friendship and share ideas about responsibilities and work concepts. However, some organizations prefer formal mentoring programs as a management tool that will accelerate the confidence and growth of new managers while at the same time giving senior managers an opportunity to share their wisdom and knowledge.
For managers that are young, one of their greatest challenges is dealing with employee insubordination. Insubordination usually occurs when an employee willfully disregards or disobeys a legitimate directive by a superior. Abusive language by an employee to a manager or others can also be considered as insubordination. Responses for this type of vice can range from disciplinary action to termination. Usually, a succinct policy can help managers deal appropriately with insubordination issues. Some kinds of insubordination policies would allow for some variations while some can be brief, to the point and more generic ( BizFilings Toolkit", 2016).
The spontaneous reaction to an insubordinate employee would be to lose temper, terminate the employee immediately or become abusive in return. Obviously, none of these is ever appropriate. While it’s hard for most managers to control their emotions during a frustrating situation like this, it’s critical for them to control themselves. Although immediate termination may be required in most serious scenarios, a progressive step discipline program or counseling is the most appropriate vehicle to discipline an insubordinate employee. The disciplinary policy should give the manager room to maneuver and consider the following factors;
a) If the past records of the employee show an insubordinate attitude. If it doesn’t, a warning will be suitable the first time. If the particular employee has a history of insubordination, stricter sanctions can be considered.
b) If the discipline is appropriate and related to the severity of the conduct. If the conduct is serious, the employee will most likely repeat a similar behavior if a light punishment is used. Otherwise, if an employee is severely punished for a minor infraction, the purpose of the discipline could backfire and make the employee’s morale and attitude worst.
New or young managers ought to demonstrate a high degree of maturity and character when they find themselves in circumstances of insubordinate employees. Great managers always regulate their emotions since they are supposed to uphold the values of the company and serve as an example. They should fly above the noise and avoid being caught in emotional traps. They don’t lose their cool and overreact in the office, and if they get frustrated, they go for a walk. They also have great attitudes and energy that sets the pace for the day. They know how to manage their poker face, and their body language is a signal that the team feeds on. Great managers know when to hold situations with a high degree of urgency and when to hold certain situations lightly. They are flexible i.e. they can embrace ambiguity and make others comfortable in dealing with change. Lastly, they can develop great talent through utilizing the right people in the right roles at the right time and encouraging mentorship opportunities because they care about the future (Cincotta, 2014).
The center for creative leadership is one of the leadership development programs that would help managers be great leaders. This program would be suitable for new managers as it offers various leadership programs in addition to other materials that facilitate in-house staff development.
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