Teaching Managers to Manage (or Better Yet, Lead)
There are always stories about how something like 80% of employees think they are above average and that’s mocked. OK, it’s statistically possible that 80% are above average (it’s not the median, but that’s a little too Six Sigma for me), but the point is that most people over-estimate their capabilities.
This story from the WSJ turns the tables on managers and their lack of self awareness.
“Managers overall get an OK grade,” he said. “But there’s a big disconnect between how managers think they’re doing and how employees think [managers are] doing. Most managers don’t think they’re doing a bad job. Most people don’t think they’re doing a bad job. But if you’re not getting feedback from your employees on how well you’re doing, where else do you get it from?”
Managers are surprised by their 360-degree reviews. Guess what, the managers aren’t as good as they think they are.
“While 92% of managers say they are doing an “excellent” or “good” job managing employees, only 67% of workers agree. An additional 23% say their boss is doing a “fair” job, and 10% find their manager is doing a “poor” job, according to a survey of 1,854 U.S. workers by Rasmussen Reports LLC for Hudson, the staffing and outsourcing firm.”
So why is this?
Meanwhile, 26% of managers said they don’t get enough training to handle their responsibilities, the survey found.
“Managers are saying, ‘I need help to do my job and to manage people more effectively,'” Mr. Morgan said. “I see this happen all the time. You promote someone who’s one of your best employees, maybe your best salesperson.
“Well, what does the organization do to support that person in that transition? It’s a whole different set of responsibilities.”
How often do we see a top engineer or technical person who is promoted to manager and then flounders? This happens in healthcare also. “Congratulations, you’re now management” and they’re left to figure it out themselves.
One thing that fascinates me about Toyota (and leads to their success) is their leadership development model. They have standard work for team leaders, group leaders, etc. They TEACH you how to manage and how to lead people. It’s not a free for all, you’re taught to manage in a system and as part of a system.
Does your company really do this? 40 hours of random management training doesn’t necessarily do it. Do they really teach you how to manage day-to-day or did you just have to figure it out? I know that when I was put into management roles briefly at companies, I had to figure it out by myself… and I hated it.