Adapting to a new role can be difficult for any professional, but add the pressure of new leadership responsibilities, and things get even more complex. Helping employees adapt to their new leadership roles through career goal management, training, and feedback allows new leaders to transition with ease while moving the company closer to its goals. Below is a deeper dive into how to help employees adjust to new leadership roles within an organization.
Determine Employee & Company Career Goals
Leadership is carried out in all levels of a company, keeping the organization running smoothly and in-line with future goals. With this in mind, employers should survey all levels of a company to find top candidates who fit not only the responsibilities of the position, but who are future-focused and see themselves growing with the organization. Meet one-on-one to gain a stronger perspective on their career goals to determine whose skills best align with the demands of a given leadership opportunity. When sourcing internally and externally, use a human capital management system with extensive talent management capabilities to further search, organize, and streamline decision-making and assist in hiring the best candidates. Keep company core values in mind when selecting leaders to ensure they align with overall company missions to remain future-focused.
Implement Training, Mentorship, and Networking
Due to lack of proper training and mentoring, only 19% of organizations believe they’re effective at developing new leaders. Giving an employee proper guidance throughout their transition to a leadership role is vital. Devise a training strategy for all new leaders that includes routine training sessions to grow their skills as they gain more experience. Allow them time to apply their learning as they progress through the role, improving pain points along the way.
Training, mentoring and networking are sometimes misconceived as being costly, but there are plenty of low-cost initiatives involved in the process. A few examples include shadowing, attending training meetings, insightful readings, training videos, and volunteer networking events. Encourage networking to build new leaders’ relationships with not only fellow leaders and mentors, but with their team members as well. Leaders who connect with those they manage have a better understanding of how to utilize their team’s strengths and weaknesses to create a cohesive, successful team that yields positive results.
Allow Room for Creativity and Growth
When leaders are well-acquainted with their new positions, they should be left to exercise their own creativity within the standard responsibilities. Allowing leaders to weave their perspectives and ideas into the role creates the opportunity for improved strategies or processes. They may have previous knowledge that worked well in a past leadership role or bring ideas from being managed themselves. Leaders not only need to be the source of creativity, but should encourage creativity amongst their teams. Gaining insight from all levels allows a leadership structure to evolve with changing management demands. Leaders need to keep an open mind when collecting viable input from their employees. For instance, micromanaging hinders productivity and employee engagement.
Growth within an organization still applies to leaders. 65% of employees see opportunities for advancement as an essential component of their professional development. Allow leaders to grow their expertise by managing new departments with differing responsibilities or enact a team shift to broaden their network. Growth does not always need to be vertical, as lateral growth provides new opportunities to gain and improve skill-sets. This prevents burnout, monotony, and disengagement, all of which can be detrimental to operational success when they affect someone in a leadership role. Employers should present opportunities to all tiers of an organization and consider lateral growth as a major opportunity to support expertised personnel and ensure an engaged workforce.
Feedback and Routine Check-ins
Taking on a new leadership role can easily become overwhelming, especially for those with little experience. This is where performing routine check-ins becomes important. 43% of highly-engaged employees receive feedback at least once a week. Touch base with new leaders on a weekly basis to ensure they’re handling their new responsibilities. It can also be helpful to check in with the employees they are responsible for. Not all manager-employee relationships are going to mesh well, and this can result in poor productivity. Catching this pain point early is important and relies on open communication between the new leader and higher levels.
Receiving feedback from new leaders is also key to streamlining the training process. Their input can help shape training in a way that is more efficient and digestible, to ensure an easier transition for future leaders. Allow them to offer input on the current organizational structure as well, to determine new ways of operating to increase overall productivity and success.
Developing new leadership skills and expertise within an organization is no small feat, so having a strategy in place to ease new leaders into their roles is a great way to surpass this hurdle. Take the above tips into consideration when introducing new leaders into your organization to ensure they align with company missions and goals, and that they are up for the challenge!