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So, you’ve just promoted your best member of staff into their first management position. They are delighted, and you are delighted as you can see so many benefits for you personally and your organisation.

But have either of you stopped to consider what training and development they need to become effective in their role?

Primarily, your role as their line manager is to help develop them into an effective manager, but how do you do that?

Your own management skills have probably been honed over the years, so to actually put down on paper the knowledge and skills and behaviours that they need is a tricky ask.

Here are some of the main responsibilities they may have as a manager:

  1. To organise and allocate the work of their team
  2. Communicate effectively with their team
  3. Recruit, train and develop their team
  4. Carry out performance reviews for their team, and manage performance if it’s not at the required level
  5. Manage requests for annual leave/family leave/flexible working
  6. Manage sickness absence
  7. Handle any disciplinary and grievance issues
  8. Recognise, motivate and engage their team
  9. Handle budgets and manage costs


And potentially, there’s a whole new knowledge and skill set that they need.

Some people are naturally very good at dealing with people, but there will still be a lot to learn. And then there’s those people who aren’t quite so good at it and need more support.


Where to start

I tend to split it into knowledge, skills and behaviours. For the knowledge, among other things, they need to know how to manage people within the law; they need to understand what discrimination is and how to avoid it, they need to understand what maternity/paternity leave staff are entitled to, and what sort of process to follow if someone isn’t working to the required standard (ie don’t just say “you’re fired!).


For the skills, they need to able to have a difficult conversation with someone if they are not performing adequately, and be able to listen effectively, and make the right decisions.


Also there’s the issue of how to  learn the behaviours needed to “become a manager” which is sometimes tricky when they manage the people who used to be their peers.


Coaching and mentoring is a useful tool, and this can be by you, or by someone else within your business, or by an external coach.


The knowledge

Looking at some of the technical knowledge that they will need to manage a team.

To work within the law is crucial – boring I know but so, so important. You will have seen reports in the press of people being paid ££££ by tribunals when they have not been dealt with correctly by their employers, and I’m sure you won’t be wanting that cost/impact on your reputation.

So it’s about getting it right at the beginning (recruitment), the end (dismissal, if you have to do it) and everything in-between.

At the beginning, it’s about being able to recruit within the law – avoiding direct and indirect discrimination (there are 9 protected characteristics), disability and health considerations, equal pay and of course the right to work in the UK.

During employment, your managers will  need to know how to manage performance, manage absence, deal with grievances, grant time away from work such as maternity and other family leave. And then there’s the flexible working requests which are a hot topic at the moment.

And at the end of employment, if an employee needs to be dismissed, your managers will need to carry out a fair process.

To manage these challenges effectively, your managers will need policies and processes to follow; ones that are fit for your business requirements.


The skills

Looking at some of the skills they need to develop.

Communication skills – I’m still looking for someone who can run a Mind Reading Course, but until I can find them, good communication skills are paramount. How, when and what to communicate and the different styles.

Being able to have a difficult conversation – the reason many managers avoid having them is because they don’t know how to.

And then there’s listening skills; effective listening isn’t easy as delegates who have attended my workshops on the topic have found out. It needs effort and practice, but wow, what a difference it makes when they are good at it.

Delegation and decision making skills are important, or your managers will end up doing everyone else’s jobs as well as their own!


The behaviours

One of the most difficult parts of the transition from staff to management is how to interact with a team of people who used to be their peers.

Managers need to find the fine line between being too friendly which will make managing the difficult tasks even more difficult, and being aloof and unapproachable. The balance is that of professionalism.

They need to be willing to take responsibility, sometimes implement changes that they don’t necessarily agree with. They need to be flexible to the needs of the organisation, and able to implement change within their team. And really importantly, they need to trust and be trusted.

These are all key elements of your managers developing and the behaviour can be the most difficult to develop. You can help by giving your managers feedback, both positive and critical to help them to become effective managers.


So, take the first step. Contact me for an initial discussion about how I can help you create confident and effective managers.