Supporting the Rookies

You spotted a rising star within the engineering department. All the feedback was great—exemplary performance, team player, integrity, solid work ethic, superior technical expertise. A position at the management level has just opened up. Why not give this plum to your high performing engineer?

This may well be the right decision. But do not then abandon your star. The skills needed to manage well are completely different from working on a team in engineering. Managers must be able to delegate, coach and give feedback, set performance goals, conduct effective meetings, manage time and available resources, etc. And all this takes learning and experience!

Do not risk losing your top talent because managing a team is overwhelming. Provide the kind of new supervisor and new manager training that can prepare a rookie manager for success. Select a learning program that includes plenty of interaction and opportunities to try out new skills in the safe environment of a classroom. And continue to coach and support your new managers as they learn the skills of the management trade.