How We Set Up Managers

How We Set Up Managers

In the world of business, most employees begin with a baseline of education such as a bachelor’s degree (theoretical knowledge).  The initial job is real-time training for learning specific tasks and procedures (technical skills) and company knowledge (goals and near-term objectives).  As their technical competency grows, an interesting development happens:  upper management considers moving this highly technically competent contributor into management.

 Indeed, in the majority of companies, the person promoted to manager is likely the individual with the best technical skills, such as the best sales person, best engineer, best accountant, best designer, and so forth

What happens next?  If you have the time and resources, you might send this newly minted manager to a one-week management/leadership course, give them a pat in the back, wish them luck, and if they get in a real jam have them call HR.


To do the job effectively, managers need competency in a wide range of skills such as: Subject Matter knowledge (the main function(s) of the work to be supervised); Finance; Project Management; Leadership; Coaching; Communication; Collaboration; Hiring; Teamwork Development; Conflict Resolution; Career Planning; Critical Thinking; Decision Making; Time Management; Planning and Execution; Cross-functional abilities; and many others.  The vast majority of individuals promoted to management do not possess competency in all of these skills at the start, and many never excel in all disciplines. Is it any wonder that they fall short when they are assessed on these competencies – resulting in unengaged employees and a big cost to productivity and retention?

Perhaps at your company you have something better than what I have outlined here.  The next question to consider is how much training and learning time do you continuously provide to your managers in all the other competencies listed above?