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Middle Managers Series: Developing Management

Management is the vital link between organizational leaders and rank-and-file employees, ensuring goals are achieved efficiently. Managers can ascend through different paths, either internally or externally, and must possess essential knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) to be able to achieve organizational goals and engage employees. Lacking these KSAs, managers will need basic or advanced training, depending on their place within an organization.

Management development is the systematic process of fostering effective managers, involving rigorous academic and practical training. Key competencies include recognizing individual differences, communication, and conflict resolution. It involves providing training, guidance, and support to individuals in managerial roles to enhance their knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) necessary for successful leadership.

Woman listening

Effective managers translate leadership objectives into actionable plans, playing a crucial role in employee performance and organizational success. Management development is crucial for organizational success as well as the growth and effectiveness of managers. Well-trained managers can have a significant impact on employee performance and morale, help revitalize unmotivated employees, and serve as translators between different levels and groups within the organization. Additionally, in the face of emerging trends such as globalization and demographic shifts, skilled managers are essential for navigating complexities and driving innovation. However, many organizations overlook management development, leading to issues such as unprepared new managers and resistance to development efforts.

Typical issues in management development include the promotion of individuals into managerial roles without adequate training or support, leading to difficulties in transitioning from individual contributor to manager. Other challenges include inconsistency in enforcing company policies, resistance from managers to acknowledge weaknesses and participate in development programs, and organizational discrepancies between stated values and actual practices.

Challenges in management development include the lack of resources allocated to development efforts, resistance from managers to acknowledge and address their development needs, and the perception of development initiatives as punishment rather than support. Overcoming these challenges requires systematic and ongoing efforts to identify and address individual and organizational barriers to effective management development.

Creating a robust management development strategy involves assessing current skill levels, identifying future development needs, aligning development efforts with organizational goals, and providing ongoing support and guidance to managers. This process requires careful planning, evaluation, and adjustment to ensure that development initiatives are effective and sustainable.

Management development programs typically cover a wide range of topics, including leadership and supervision skills, communication, business acumen, industry-specific knowledge, and organizational culture and values. These programs may include formal training sessions, workshops, coaching, mentoring, and experiential learning opportunities tailored to the needs and interests of individual managers.

Careers in management development include roles such as training and development managers, training and development specialists, and industrial-organizational psychologists. Professionals in these roles are responsible for designing, implementing, and evaluating management development programs to enhance the skills and effectiveness of managers within organizations.

Contact us for more information about MANAGER TRAININGS WE OFFER.

Sign up for our MIDDLE MANAGERS TRAINING! Next training is June 27 3-4pm.


Read more from our MIDDLE MANAGERS SERIES:

The challenges faced by middle managers

Some key managers’ desires and potential solutions

How to explain HR to managers

1st-time managers often are ill-prepared for their new role

Caring for Caregivers: A Manager’s Guide to Supporting Employees in Their Caregiving Roles

Tips for New Managers Who Are Now Supervising Their Former Peers

Managing Difficult Employees and Disruptive Behaviors: A Comprehensive Guide for HR Professionals

Developing Management

HR Synergy Client Scenarios

Turning the Tide: Revamping Management Practices

Recently we assisted a CEO in order to determine the best approach with addressing performance issues within the management team. The lack of managing their employees and being accountable resulted in high turnover and significant loss of revenue to the organization. We agreed the first step would include training for the management team to help build their confidence to have difficult conversations with employees without fear of losing them.

Scene: The boardroom of a bustling corporate headquarters

[The CEO sits at the head of the table, flanked by the members of the management team. Tension hangs in the air as they prepare to tackle the pressing issue of declining performance and high turnover rates.]

CEO: [Addressing the team] Thank you all for being here today. It’s no secret that we’ve been facing significant challenges with employee turnover and performance. It’s time for us to confront these issues head-on and make some necessary changes.

Management Team: [Nods in agreement, acknowledging the severity of the situation]

CEO: After careful consideration and consultation, we’ve identified a critical factor contributing to these challenges: the lack of effective management practices within our teams. We need to equip ourselves with the skills and confidence to address performance issues proactively and constructively.

HR Synergy Consultant: That’s where I come in. I’ve been working closely with the CEO to devise a plan to address these challenges. Our first step will be to provide comprehensive training for the management team to enhance your ability to manage and lead effectively.

Management Team: [Expresses interest, albeit with some apprehension]

HR Synergy Consultant: This training will focus on several key areas, including communication skills, conflict resolution, performance management, and fostering a culture of accountability. We’ll provide you with the tools and strategies to have difficult conversations with your teams, address performance issues, and provide meaningful feedback without fear of alienating or losing valuable employees.

CEO: [Emphasizing the importance] It’s crucial that we create an environment where employees feel supported and valued, but also where accountability is upheld. This training will not only benefit our teams but also contribute to our overall success as an organization.

Management Team: [Nods in agreement, recognizing the necessity of the proposed training]

CEO: Let’s commit ourselves to this process wholeheartedly. By investing in our management practices, we can turn the tide on these challenges and propel our organization toward greater success.

[The meeting concludes with a sense of determination and purpose as the management team prepares to embark on their journey toward improved management practices and organizational success.]

Don’t let lack of management result in high employee turnover. Take the first step towards a more effective management team today with HR Synergy. Contact us to learn more about how we can support your organization’s success.


Addressing Management Performance Challenges

Scene: A bustling corporate office, with executives and HR Synergy professionals engaged in a discussion

Are you struggling with high turnover rates and revenue loss due to performance issues within your management team? We at HR Synergy understand the challenges you’re facing, and we’re here to help.

[HR Synergy Team enters the scene, ready to offer solutions]

HR Synergy consultant: At HR Synergy, we’ve collaborated closely with clients just like you to address these pressing issues head-on. Our tailored approach involves working hand-in-hand with your team to determine the best strategies for tackling performance issues and fostering a culture of accountability.

The Problem:

  • High turnover rates
  • Significant loss of revenue
  • Lack of follow-through and accountability within the management team

HR Synergy consultant: Our Solution: Through extensive consultation and collaboration with your organization, we’ve developed a comprehensive training program designed to empower your management team to address performance issues effectively. We focus on building confidence and equipping your managers with the skills they need to have difficult conversations with employees, without the fear of losing them.

Key Features of Our Training Program:

  • Customized Approach: We understand that every organization is unique. That’s why we customize our training program to address the specific challenges faced by your management team.
  • Practical Strategies: Our training sessions are filled with practical tips and techniques that your managers can immediately implement in their day-to-day interactions with employees.
  • Role-Playing Exercises: We believe in learning by doing. Through role-playing exercises, we provide a safe space for your managers to practice having difficult conversations and receive constructive feedback.
  • Ongoing Support: Our commitment to your success doesn’t end with the training session. We provide ongoing support and guidance to ensure that your management team members continue to grow and excel in their roles.

The Results: By investing in our training program, you can expect to see:

  • Improved employee morale and engagement
  • Reduced turnover rates
  • Increased productivity and profitability for your organization

[Cut to a scene of motivated managers ready to take action]

Don’t let performance issues hold your organization back any longer. Take the first step towards a more effective management team today with HR Synergy. Contact us to learn more about how we can support your organization’s success.

Middle Managers Series: Managing Difficult Employees and Disruptive Behaviors: A Comprehensive Guide for HR Professionals

Sign up for our MIDDLE MANAGERS TRAINING! Next training is May 23 3-4pm.

Employee morale, productivity, and customer service thrive in environments where teamwork and mutual respect are practiced. However, disruptive behaviors among employees can undermine these factors, leading to negative consequences for your organization and potential legal liabilities. While employers must respect employees’ rights to concerted activity under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), they must address behaviors that undermine collegiality and professionalism. Together, let’s address common difficult and disruptive behaviors, highlight risk to your organization if left unaddressed, and provide suggestions for managing the performance of individuals exhibiting these behaviors constructively.

Common disruptive behaviors include gossiping, incivility, bullying, and insubordination. These behaviors can lead to decreased productivity, increased turnover, and legal expenses. HR Synergy professionals can play a vital role in training you how to address these behaviors by providing guidance, training, and conflict resolution assistance to managers.

Disruptive behaviors in the workplace have wide-ranging impacts, including decreased productivity, performance, and employee commitment, as well as damage to company reputation. These behaviors can lead to increased turnover costs, sick leave usage, disability claims, and legal expenses. Toxic behaviors can spread, affecting your entire organization’s culture and morale. A 2017 survey by the Workplace Bullying Institute revealed alarming statistics, including high rates of bullying and awareness of abusive conduct in the workplace. Many bullies are in positions of authority, and targets often suffer adverse health effects, leading to a significant percentage leaving their jobs. Addressing workplace bullying requires a top-down approach, as offenders often hold higher job statuses than targets. Additionally, employers must be vigilant about employee use of social media, as it can perpetuate bullying and damage the company’s reputation if negative postings go viral. Swift action is necessary when such incidents come to light.

 

HR Synergy professionals are vital in training managers how to deal with difficult employees. We can act as business partners, offering guidance and training. HR Synergy’s trainings help managers recognize and address issues, especially interpersonal ones that they may avoid. By identifying problems and strategizing solutions, HR Synergy’s trainings aid in conflict resolution early on, contributing to a broader organizational strategy aimed at preventing workplace violence.

 

Managers and colleagues often hesitate to address disruptive behaviors out of fear of retribution or because they feel unprepared for difficult conversations. Some managers may avoid taking action due to concerns about losing a valuable staff member or because they rationalize their inaction with various excuses. However, ignoring the problem only allows it to worsen, as the disruptive individual may perceive tolerance as acceptance. Managers may inadvertently enable problem behavior by working around the issue or playing favorites. Addressing disruptive behaviors early is essential to preventing escalation and maintaining a positive workplace culture. It’s crucial for managers to investigate complaints and take prompt, appropriate action to prevent further recurrence. Failure to address disruptive behavior not only condones unprofessional conduct but also exposes your organization to potential legal liabilities.

 

Dealing with difficult employees and disruptive behaviors requires proactive strategies. Strategies for managing difficult employees include training, providing honest feedback, documenting behaviors, and following disciplinary policies. Providing training in people management and conflict resolution equips managers to address issues effectively. Facilitating teamwork activities and civility training can promote a respectful workplace culture. Listening to employees’ concerns and providing honest feedback are essential for addressing disruptive behaviors. Managers should document incidents and follow disciplinary policies consistently. Clear communication of expectations and consequences ensures accountability. Ultimately, employees are responsible for adjusting their behavior to align with organizational expectations.

 

Clear communication of expectations and regular follow-up are crucial for sustaining behavioral improvements. Corporate codes of conduct and labor agreements typically mandate treating each other with dignity and professionalism while prohibiting harassment and discrimination. However, it’s crucial to ensure these policies don’t infringe on employees’ Section 7 rights under the National Labor Relations Act, which protect their ability to engage in concerted activity regarding employment terms and conditions. Legal review of conduct policies is advisable due to evolving interpretations. Clear communication of expectations helps employees distinguish between acceptable and unacceptable behavior, fostering a respectful work environment.

 

The cost of workplace bullying and disruptive behaviors can be assessed through various metrics including turnover rates, employee engagement levels, commitment to the organization, job satisfaction, productivity levels, work quality, and estimated lost work hours. These indicators provide insights into the financial and cultural impact of such behaviors on the organization.

 

While workplace bullying is unacceptable, federal law does not explicitly prohibit it unless it is tied to discrimination. Some states have introduced anti-bullying legislation to address this issue. Overall, creating a respectful workplace culture requires proactive management and adherence to legal standards.

 

Effectively managing difficult employees and disruptive behaviors is essential for maintaining a positive and productive workplace environment. By identifying problem behaviors early, fostering a culture of respect, providing training and support to managers, and following proactive communication and disciplinary procedures, HR Synergy professionals can help you mitigate the impact of disruptive behaviors and promote a healthy work environment for all employees.

Contact us for more information about MANAGER TRAININGS WE OFFER.

Sign up for our MIDDLE MANAGERS TRAINING! Next training is May 23 3-4pm.


Read more from our MIDDLE MANAGERS SERIES:

The challenges faced by middle managers

Some key managers’ desires and potential solutions

How to explain HR to managers

1st-time managers often are ill-prepared for their new role

Caring for Caregivers: A Manager’s Guide to Supporting Employees in Their Caregiving Roles

Tips for New Managers Who Are Now Supervising Their Former Peers

Managing Difficult Employees and Disruptive Behaviors: A Comprehensive Guide for HR Professionals

Developing Management

Middle Managers Series: What tips are there for new managers who are now supervising their former peers?

In 2023, we began a new monthly series delving into the MIDDLE MANAGER. Previously, we discussed the challenges faced by middle managers, some key managers’ desires and potential solutions, how to explain HR to managers, 1st-time managers often are ill-prepared for their new role, and Caring for Caregivers: A Manager’s Guide to Supporting Employees in Their Caregiving Roles. We will continue to reflect on the evolving nature of work in today’s dynamic business environment and how we can support our middle managers.

This month let’s look into Tips for New Managers Who Are Now Supervising Their Former Peers.

Taking on a management role, especially one that involves supervising former co-workers, requires navigating the shift from peer relationships to manager-employee dynamics. It can be a challenging shift. 

It is important to set boundaries in order to differentiate your managerial role from your previous peer relationship. It is critical from the beginning of the new role you emphasize that your previous personal relationship will not and cannot influence work decisions. Understand that the transition may be challenging for both you and your former peers. You may continue to socialize after work, however, keep the conversation away from work-related topics and focus on personal interests. Conflicts may arise, and it’s important to address them promptly and professionally. Use conflict resolution skills to find amicable solutions, and don’t let personal history affect your ability to handle disputes objectively. This will help maintain a professional environment and minimize confusion.

It is imperative that you are not seen as playing favorites. Treat everyone on the team fairly and consistently. Avoid favoritism and ensure that decisions are based on merit. Not only will this outlook prevent discrimination claims, it will also prevent tension among employees. You should provide consistent feedback and suggestions for improvement to ensure fair employee development. Clearly articulate expectations, provide constructive feedback, and actively listen to your team members. While maintaining professionalism, continue to build positive relationships with your team. This will help build trust among team members and prevent resentment.

Effective communication is crucial. In order to ease tension, acknowledge any awkwardness upfront. It is important to encourage open communication and seek feedback from your team. This will help you understand their perspectives, address concerns, and foster a collaborative work environment. It also helps you understand their strengths, weaknesses, and career goals in order to help you lead them effectively. Be sincere about the challenges and set ground rules transparently without coming across as heavy-handed.

Also, you should clearly demonstrate your commitment and seriousness to your role as manager. Using humor might ease difficult conversations, unfortunately, humor can also undermine your leadership role. Be gentle but firm to maintain the seriousness of counseling or disciplinary actions, earning employees’ respect.

Lastly, don’t hesitate to ask for help from other experienced managers who have faced similar situations. Recognize that management is an ongoing learning process. Stay open to feedback, learn from your experiences, and continuously seek opportunities for personal and professional growth. Mentors also can provide valuable insights and guidance.

By managing former peers consistently, fairly, and respectfully while separating personal and professional relationships, a new manager can navigate this transition effectively. Remember, the key is to balance authority with approachability and to foster a positive work environment where everyone feels valued and supported.

HR Synergy can help you develop programs and support for New Managers Who Are Now Supervising Their Former Peers, so that your new managers are ready!

Contact us for more information about MANAGER TRAININGS WE OFFER.

Sign up for our MIDDLE MANAGERS TRAINING! Next training is May 23 3-4pm.


Read more from our MIDDLE MANAGERS SERIES:

The challenges faced by middle managers

Some key managers’ desires and potential solutions

How to explain HR to managers

1st-time managers often are ill-prepared for their new role

Caring for Caregivers: A Manager’s Guide to Supporting Employees in Their Caregiving Roles

Tips for New Managers Who Are Now Supervising Their Former Peers

Managing Difficult Employees and Disruptive Behaviors: A Comprehensive Guide for HR Professionals

Developing Management

Person climbing stairs

Empowering Novice Leaders: A Guide to Elevating Inexperienced Employees to Management Roles

Have you considered eliminating the “one year of prior managerial experience” requirement for internal management positions? The rationale is to promote career growth, enhance recruitment, and reduce turnover. However, there are potential challenges, including vague criteria for “taking a chance on people” and concerns about the readiness of employees lacking prior management experience. Potentially you might be experiencing issues with existing leaders struggling to manage their teams. These issues might be inflated if you promote employees into first-time manager roles without prior experiences. Lastly, employees under the new managers could be negatively impacted when their new bosses “learn on the job.”

To address these issues, plan a careful implementation strategy. Consider establishing specific competencies and training requirements to offset the removal of the experience requirement. These may include training programs, online courses, and certifications to ensure internal candidates are adequately prepared for managerial roles. Think about supporting personal assessments, such as 360-assessments, to evaluate employees’ abilities that are essential to a successful first-time manager of communication, collaboration, adaptability, empathy, agility, accountability, emotional intelligence, and propensities in aiding others. 

To unveil such an expansive program, companies need not hurry; clear communication and documentation of expectations are crucial. Start small and slow. Make it clear that finishing pre-managerial preparations does not mean promotion is a foregone conclusion. 

Consider a program like this for positions where internal promotions historically have failed. Fabricate a managerial program based on the problems that most commonly emerge, which will help construct career ladders and succession plans.

To minimize risks, propose a trial period and recommend a reasonable rollout timeframe, allowing the organization to assess the impact of the proposed changes. Identify key progression points, such as interviews, assessments, and evaluations, to measure the success of the program. Transition will be a work in progress; there is a need for caution and collaboration with the CEO and outside counsel to navigate potential pitfalls.

You can implement a thoughtful and gradual approach to the proposed hiring policy change, emphasizing the importance of communication, clear expectations, and ongoing evaluation to ensure success in developing internal talent while minimizing risks to the organization.

HR Synergy can help you develop effective trainings for your would-be managers, so that your 1st-time managers are EFFECTIVE!

Contact us for more information about MANAGER TRAININGS WE OFFER.

Middle Managers Series: A Manager’s Guide to Supporting Employees in Their Caregiving Roles

Multi-generations of handsIn 2023, we began a new monthly series delving into the MIDDLE MANAGER. Previously, we discussed the challenges faced by middle managers, some key managers’ desires and potential solutions, how to explain HR to managers, and 1st-time managers often are ill-prepared for their new role. We will continue to reflect on the evolving nature of work in today’s dynamic business environment and how we can support our middle managers.

This month let’s look into how Caring for Caregivers: A Manager’s Guide to Supporting Employees in Their Caregiving Roles.

Research shows that managers often play a key role in helping employees feel supported at work. Employees are facing increased responsibility as caregivers and need support from their managers. 73% of employees have caregiving responsibilities according to a recent Harvard Business School study, The Caring Company. According to a recent AARP report, 53% of employees ages 40-49 and 36% of all workers ages 40 and older are caregivers for an adult. The caregiving trend is attributed to longer life expectancies, delayed parenthood, and limited caregiving options due to the pandemic. Caregiver employees’ jobs are impacted by having to work remotely, change or reduce work hours, use paid caregiving leave, or ultimately quit their job to provide care within the last five years. People managers can play a crucial role in supporting employees who are caregivers by implementing various strategies to help balance work and caregiving responsibilities.

Employees are facing an ever-growing responsibility as caregivers and need support from their managers. 73% of employees have caregiving responsibilities according to a recent Harvard Business School study, The Caring Company. According to a recent AARP report, 53% of employees ages 40-49 and 36% of all workers ages 40 and older are caregivers for an adult. The caregiving trend is attributed to longer life expectancies, delayed parenthood, and limited caregiving options due to the pandemic. Caregiver employees’ jobs are impacted by having to work remotely, change or reduce work hours, use paid caregiving leave, or ultimately quit their job to provide care within the last five years. People managers can play a crucial role in supporting employees who are caregivers by implementing various strategies to help balance work and caregiving responsibilities. 

Employers are beginning to acknowledge the importance of supporting caregivers, and some companies are tracking caregiver status to better understand and address the needs of their workforce. Some organizations are implementing policies, such as a one-year sabbatical for caregiving, to help employees balance work and caregiving responsibilities without quitting their jobs.

Graphic: How can people managers support caregiver employees? Conversations, flexible work arrangements, caregiver networks, educate about benefits

The financial impact of caregiving on both employees and businesses is significant, with a MetLife study estimating a loss of $3 trillion in wages, pension contributions, and Social Security benefits for caregivers. U.S. businesses lose $35 billion annually due to the failure to attract, support, and retain workers with caregiving responsibilities according to the Harvard Business School study. Company leaders are beginning to recognize that assisting caregiver employees is imperative for attracting and retaining quality employees.

It was found that employment dropped nearly 8% for workers who became caregivers versus demographically similar non-caregivers in a 2022 study of 13,000 people by associate professor of healthcare policy at Harvard Medical School Nicole Maestas, an economist at the Social Security Administration, and economist at Wayne State University Yulya Truskinovsky.

Managers can support caregivers through five ways. They can conduct frequent one-on-one conversations, offer flexibility in job roles, and be empathetic to individual needs. Establishing caregiver networks and employee resource groups within companies can provide additional support and help organizations understand the specific needs of caregivers.

It is important that managers not make assumptions about caregivers when assigning roles or promotions and managers should be more curious and empathetic when discussing the needs of employees with caregiving responsibilities. Additionally, managers should help employees understand and access available benefits such as subsidized elder care, child care, employee assistance programs, and affinity groups for caregivers.

By implementing these supportive measures, people managers can contribute to a more inclusive and compassionate workplace, allowing employees who are caregivers to fulfill their responsibilities effectively without compromising their well-being or career progression.

HR Synergy can help you develop programs and support for your caregiving employees, so that your employees are retained!

Contact us for more information about MANAGER TRAININGS WE OFFER.


Read more from our MIDDLE MANAGERS SERIES:

The challenges faced by middle managers

Some key managers’ desires and potential solutions

How to explain HR to managers

1st-time managers often are ill-prepared for their new role

Caring for Caregivers: A Manager’s Guide to Supporting Employees in Their Caregiving Roles

Tips for New Managers Who Are Now Supervising Their Former Peers

Managing Difficult Employees and Disruptive Behaviors: A Comprehensive Guide for HR Professionals

Developing Management

Middle Managers Series: Help Managers Be Prepared for their new role

2023, we began a new monthly series delving into the MIDDLE MANAGER. Previously, we discussed the challenges faced by middle managers, some key managers’ desires and potential solutions, and how to explain HR to managers. We will continue to reflect on the evolving nature of work in today’s dynamic business environment and how we can support our middle managers.

This month let’s look into how 1st-time managers often we ill-prepared for their new role.

Let’s take a look at the challenges faced by new managers and how to ensure their success through training and mentoring.

New managers often experience a steep learning curve, which can lead to stress and potential negative impacts on their teams. Managing a team is a stressful job, even for experienced managers. The stress is further compounded when managers are new to their positions, indicating the difficulty of the transition. An effective transition to a new managerial role is crucial for the success of rookie managers. This transition should include training and mentoring to help new managers navigate their responsibilities and challenges. 

The 2023 nationwide survey conducted by Harris Research and Oji focused on 2,066 employees and their experiences with first-time managers. The survey revealed that an inexperienced and unprepared new manager can have real business and human costs. The survey highlights the negative impact of poor management on employees. For those who had a negative experience with a new manager:

  • 41% reported feeling stressed or anxious about reporting to work.
  • 34% expressed a desire to leave the organization.
  • 31% wanted to change managers by seeking new jobs or transferring to different teams within the company.
  • 31% lost confidence in the company overall.

There are “real business and human costs”, underscoring the tangible and significant consequences associated with ineffective management. This includes both the impact on employee well-being and potential repercussions for the organization. Organizations need to address the challenges faced by new managers through effective transition strategies, including training and mentoring. 

Effectively managing others is a learned skill that requires time and effort. Untrained managers may lack essential skills such as decision-making, conflict resolution, and effective communication. Matt Kursh, CEO and founder of Oji, suggests that managers without proper training in these key areas can harm even well-functioning teams. The absence of these skills can contribute to anxiety among team members and lead to a desire to leave the organization. Unprepared managers often lack essential leadership skills also. These skills include decision-making, effective communication, and the ability to coach individuals to success. This deficiency can have adverse effects on the team’s overall performance and morale. Effectively managing others is a learned skill that takes time to develop. It challenges the assumption that individuals can naturally excel in managerial roles without proper training and experience. Linda Hill, a Harvard Business School professor, describes becoming a manager as a holistic process involving the head, heart, and hands -implying that successful management requires a combination of knowledge, emotional intelligence, and practical application. Hill emphasizes the importance of providing support to newly promoted employees. Instead of assuming that they inherently know how to manage, organizations should conduct research to understand the specific needs and challenges of new managers in their context. This involves helping them gain a comprehensive understanding of what is crucial for success in their managerial roles. Untrained leaders often struggle in various areas, negatively impacting their teams in the process, highlighting the interconnectedness of managerial competence and team performance. It is best to take a proactive approach to manager development, specifically targeted training and support for newly promoted individuals to ensure they acquire the essential skills needed for effective leadership.

Some organizations adopt a “sink or swim” philosophy, promoting strong individual contributors to management roles without providing sufficient leadership training. This approach can lead to difficulties for new managers who may struggle with the transition. Even seasoned workers may face difficulties in their new managerial roles due to the lack of training later in their careers. There is a misconception that skills in individual contributions seamlessly translate to effective leadership. It is vital to support new managers who are promoted from within to foster effective leadership. Organizations owe their new managers this necessary proactive training and support to succeed. 

Merely being around good managers is insufficient for instilling the qualities needed to lead a team. Managers need to learn the transition from leading oneself to leading others. Consider implementing a step-by-step process to help new managers practice and develop their skills over time. Aligning new managers with experienced coaches and mentors can create a non-judgemental and supportive environment for them to discuss challenges, seek guidance, and learn from others. Coaching sessions can address specific issues such as delegation, time management, and imposter syndrome.

A one-time, brief, intensive management training may not be sufficient. It is unrealistic to expect that a new manager can learn the complexities of leadership in just a single seminar; becoming a good manager requires more than a few hours of instruction. Recognizing humans as social animals, peer coaching and mentoring play a crucial role in learning leadership skills. This social interaction provides a platform for meaningful discussions, the exchange of ideas, and practical role-playing scenarios. Adequate preparation for new managers, even those with great promise, is necessary. Continuous learning, social interaction, and ongoing support are essential for new managers to develop and refine their leadership skills. 

Organizations need to invest in comprehensive training and mentoring programs to support new managers. Effective leadership is a continual learning journey.

HR Synergy can help you develop effective trainings for your managers, so that your 1st-time managers are PREPARED!

Contact us for more information about MANAGER TRAININGS WE OFFER.


Read more from our MIDDLE MANAGERS SERIES:

The challenges faced by middle managers

Some key managers’ desires and potential solutions

How to explain HR to managers

1st-time managers often are ill-prepared for their new role

Caring for Caregivers: A Manager’s Guide to Supporting Employees in Their Caregiving Roles

Tips for New Managers Who Are Now Supervising Their Former Peers

Managing Difficult Employees and Disruptive Behaviors: A Comprehensive Guide for HR Professionals

Developing Management

New Year, New You

Now is the time to start planning for your year! It is time to create your annual plan and be sure to include manager trainings, update Employee Handbooks, review compensation structure for possible adjustment that may need to be made to attract and retain valuable employees, and start thinking about your recruitment endeavors for the year.

An annual human resources plan (AHRP) outlines the objectives and goals of HR for the year and helps your organization evolve with the changing market. Why do you need an annual HR plan? It is a tactical tool that assists the HR department in aligning its endeavors with the organization’s business goals. A well-constructed AHRP confirms that the organization places the correct people with the correct expertises in the correct positions. Additionally, it can pinpoint and address possible HR issues. When an AHRP is thought out, it betters employee engagement and productivity. Lastly, employee turnover is decreased if your AHRP is well structured.

As you begin to design your AHRP, you might want to consider the predicted biggest HR trends in 2024. The eight significant trends impacting HR this year include generative AI, growing numbers of Generation Z entering the workplace and millennials shifting into management, balancing HR technology and data protection, administering flexible work arrangements, strikes and industrial action, upskilling and reskilling employees, office experience built for collaborative productivity, and staff retention. An additional item to include in your annual plan is manager trainings. It is vital that you make sure your managers have the proper tools to be effective managers. Did you know that WE DO THESE TRAININGS!?! Be on the lookout in our next newsletter and on social media for a list of our 2024 Trainings open to all! (See our previous Manager Series blogs 12, and 3 for training ideas.) Contact us at HR Synergy for more information about our trainings and for us to help you formulate your 2024 HR resources plan; we will help you consider these trends as we aid in the construction of your annual human resources plan (AHRP).

It is also a great time to update your Employee Handbooks! We are happy to help you –reach out today!

Are you aware of the employment law changes in 2023?

  • Use of non-compete agreements
  • Pay transparency
  • Protections for employees struggling with their mental health conditions
  • Pregnant Workers Protection Act
  • Pump Act
  • Use of artificial intelligence

As you update your handbooks, consider these five pointers. First, review your handbook regularly and it will not be overwhelming. Next, ensure that policies mirror real life and are easily understood. Legally review your handbook. Lastly when you distribute handbooks, include proof of receipt and properly train management on handbook policies.

Do you need Compensation Statements? HR Synergy can help!

Lastly, it is never too early to start thinking about your recruitment techniques! While early January typically is slow, the following months are full of job opportunities. The best summer interns land summer internships quickly, so you don’t want to miss out. You should start putting together a plan for what you want and need for the summer internship season to ensure that you post timely and land the best candidates. You do not have additional steps to worry about if you post internships that pay at least minimum wage. However, if your internship is under minimum wage and/or for course credit, you have two additional steps required before posting. You must complete the approval form from the Department of Labor for your business and approval for the specific position. These approvals are only good for one year and you must reapply for approvals annually. The Department of Labor’s FAQ page has helpful information as well. There are two sites that we recommend posting your internship opportunities: www.internships.com and https://joinhandshake.com. HR Synergy has a dedicated Recruitment team ready to help with all your recruitment needs and answer any questions!

Middle Managers Series: How to Explain HR to Managers

In 2023, we began a new monthly series delving into the MIDDLE MANAGER. Previously, we discussed the challenges faced by middle managers and some key managers’ desires and potential solutions.

We will continue to reflect on the evolving nature of work in today’s dynamic business environment and how we can support our middle managers.

This month let’s delve into how to explain HR to managers. We will explore the differences between the jobs of an HR business partner (HRBP) and an HR generalist. If you educate your team and create more collaborative relationships between HR and management, it’ll result in an improved profitability of the entire organization. Consider taking this information and create a series of talks with small groups of leaders from around your organization. Track who attends and be sure to follow up with those who can’t.

First let’s breakdown managers’ deliverables and responsibilities. Managers play a pivotal part in orchestrating effective communication across departments. Organizations function as a complex and interconnected system aka machine. Each department performs a crucial role, much like individual cogs in a machine, and their seamless interaction is vital for the overall success of your organization. The pursuit of continuous improvement and profitability is a shared goal across all departments. Smooth interactions between your departments is essential for achieving common goals. By increasing interactions among diverse departments, interactions can be improved. The prime responsibility of managers is to effectively delegate tasks and responsibilities to achieve departmental goals. Managers also play a key role in supporting and aligning individual departmental objectives with overarching corporate objectives. The success of managers is directly influenced by how well they navigate the complexities of departmental interactions and contribute to the overall profitability of the company.

Human Resources (HR) executes the influential function of supporting both managers and your organization as a whole not as a separate entity, but as an integral part of your organizational system, working in tandem with other departments to drive success. HR can be thought of as the “oil” in our corporate machine that helps departmental cogs run smoothly with HR as the lubricating force. HR has a responsibility to actively contribute to the achievement of corporate goals. They achieve this through facilitating productive work environments, helping employees collaborate effectively with peers and through direct reports and therefore ensuring smooth interactions and operations within your organization. HR supports a variety of interests within your organization, emphasizing the need for a multifaceted approach to ensure enterprise efficiency. HR must ensure that all operations are executed in a manner that minimizes the likelihood of costly legal issues. This highlights the importance of compliance and risk management in HR functions. Lastly, the success of managers can be enhanced by leveraging the distinct functions of HR generalists and HR Business Partners (HRBPs) appropriately.

HR Generalists take a multifaceted role in overseeing key HR functions, from recruitment to policy development. HR Generalists and managers should have a collaborative relationship as the success of HR initiatives is contingent on the ongoing involvement and support of managers. HR Generalists are responsible for recruiting new hires and managing the staffing process in a timely manner. There is also a need for managers’ support and timely involvement in the recruitment process. Generalists continue the recruitment process through taking charge of staff professional development, including onboarding, career development, and training. (Managers play a crucial role in this development process as well with their ongoing involvement.) Generalists play a key role in developing compensation and benefits systems. These systems are designed to be both legal and competitive, addressing the company’s recruitment needs effectively. They oversee various aspects of employee well-being, including welfare, safety, wellness, health, and counseling. Generalists facilitate performance reviews and management processes, underlining their involvement in assessing and enhancing employee performance. They develop and implement policy documents and handbooks; these documents are crafted to be legally responsible and aligned with corporate goals.

The HR Business Partner (HRBP) takes the job of the HR generalist to the next level through experience and maturity to interact with senior management. They look at a range of issues from multiple viewpoints while focusing on a common goal: protecting the company’s best interests. The HRBP is a professional able to define enterprise-wide business goals and align them with legal considerations. The HRBP helps create the HR framework needed to deliver on those goals while maintaining or upgrading the HR capabilities necessary for their achievement. The HRBP also explains HR legal requirements and navigates the HR framework efficiently. The HRBP understands business mandates and communicates in business terms. They assist management in connecting business goals with strategies, tactics, and manpower. They possess the capability to identify obstacles to goals and suggest solutions. The HRBP develops and manages new pay plans, benefits programs, and performance appraisal systems. Lastly, they utilize HR metrics to support new initiatives. HRBPs are strategic partners with a comprehensive skill set. They not only understand the intricacies of HR but also possess the business acumen to align HR strategies with broader organizational goals. 

Hopefully through this blog you as a manager more clearly understand the different ways HR makes your careers more successful, actively supports your organization’s success, and benefits everyone. Both HR roles, HR Generalists and HRBP, contribute to making your lives as managers easier through distinct contributions. The collaborative nature of HR and management help achieve common goals and improve overall profitability. The entire HR function exists to encourage your company’s success, and by extension, the success of every individual manager.

Contact us for more information about Manager trainings we offer.

 

Read more from our MIDDLE MANAGERS SERIES:

The challenges faced by middle managers

Some key managers’ desires and potential solutions

How to explain HR to managers

1st-time managers often are ill-prepared for their new role

Caring for Caregivers: A Manager’s Guide to Supporting Employees in Their Caregiving Roles

Tips for New Managers Who Are Now Supervising Their Former Peers

Managing Difficult Employees and Disruptive Behaviors: A Comprehensive Guide for HR Professionals

Developing Management