Transitioning from an individual contributor (IC) to a manager is a major change and can seem daunting. Since good management can make or break a company, it’s important to set managers up for success - especially the first-timers.
According to The Balance Careers:
“First-time managers often describe being left to ‘sink or swim’ ”
“New managers almost universally describe wanting more coaching, feedback, and feed-forward to support learning.”
“Team members of unguided first-time managers express significant frustration over the aberrant behaviors and styles of their rookie bosses.”
There are many ways to help managers develop their skills and confidence. One of the most valuable ways of achieving this is mentorship. By setting up new managers with the right mentors, they can grow leaps and bounds, thereby increasing their effectiveness and the company’s success.
Here are some reasons why you should definitely match first-time (or potential) managers with good mentors.
1. Best Practice
Often experience is the best teacher, and there’s no need to reinvent the wheel. Mentors can share valuable wisdom that can save new managers a lot of time and headaches. Mentors can provide new managers with insight on how to avoid common pitfalls and assist them with setting and attaining goals.
● Experienced mentors can help new managers adopt effective tried-and-true strategies to improve results.
2. Confidence building/support/sounding board
By acting as confidantes and skilled guides, mentors can build the confidence of new managers by helping them feel more equipped to navigate their new challenges and environments. I’ve had mentors who’ve lent their expertise and time to help me grow in various ways. By working with those who’ve gone before you - whether it be in marketing, coding, or interpretive dance - you feel less alone and better prepared to face new journeys.
● Mentors can provide a safe space for honest discussion and reflection, and encouragement when new managers are feeling unsure of their next steps.
Given in the right ways, feedback can be life-changing and help people reach their potential. Given in the wrong ways, it can be ineffective and demoralizing - and even make performance worse. Just as it’s important to know how to give feedback, managers should learn how to receive it the right way too.
● Mentors can give helpful feedback, as well as allow mentees to learn how to give feedback effectively.
Even before someone transitions into a management role, companies can use mentor-mentee relationships to vet potential managers.
● These relationships would allow experienced managers to evaluate a mentees’ traits related to management (e.g., maturity, ability to effectively give and receive feedback, desire to learn and grow, interpersonal skills).
5. Care and Commitment
Employees who feel valued and supported by their companies are naturally much more likely to perform well for their employers.
● Providing good mentors for new managers shows them that the company cares about their development and wants to set them up for success.
5. Engagement and Retention
All of the above reasons help engage and retain these new managers, which means less money, time, and energy will be spend on employee turnover costs.
● Retaining and engaging these new managers will have the trickle down effect of helping retain and engage their reports, and so on.
Please share this post with your networks using #nextplaymentoring. You can email us at Charu@nextplay.ai if any of this resonated with you - and especially if you have a mentorship success story to share!