Buddy to Boss

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romoting Susan to that new management position seemed like a great idea. She always worked long hours and wanted to move up. And she was so popular with her coworkers! Why bother tracking down an outside candidate when there was already a staff member ready to roll.

Unfortunately, problems cropped up as soon as Susan took on her new duties. She failed to inform her subordinates about new initiatives. She scheduled meetings only to keep everyone waiting while she completed some phone calls. The staff — formerly her friends — started to grumble that she was "too bossy." People lost interest in doing a good job and the business started missing its sales and profit goals.

Not a pretty picture, but one that is all too common. Done right, promoting from within motivates the entire team and fosters staff loyalty. Done wrong, it sparks workplace friction and resentment.

How can you make sure your own internal promotions move people up the ladder of success without falling on their heads. For the answer look to the first half of this article, in which consultants from around the country offer valuable pointers. The second half contains advice for the new supervisors themselves.

P ART I: T IPS FOR C OACHES #1. Be a good role model.

Your own behavior must demonstrate the style of leadership you expect from newly promoted individuals. For starters, you need to treat your staff fairly. "If they have been mistreated by their own managers, new supervisors will commonly do the same with their subordinates," warns Ian Jacobsen, president of Jacobsen Consulting Group, Sunnyvale, Calif.

"Just as a child from an abused home is more likely to be an abuser, new supervisors who have not had good role models will behave in dysfunctional ways."

Buddy to Boss 12 steps to successful staff promotions P Management Management By Phillip M. Perry 30 AQUA • FEBRUARY 2002 www.aquamagazine.com

Chesterfield, Mo. This mentor may develop a plan for success and put it into motion. "The mentor can serve as a coach, answering questions such as 'What will your first day as a supervisor be like.Õ suggests Martels. The mentor may also outline the expectations the company holds for new supervisors, and impress upon the prospect the need to meet them.

#4. Announce the promotion appropriately .

The formal transition to supervisor must be announced in an unambiguous way so the staff realizes the new supervisor has the backing of the organization. The process will vary by size of group. "In a small group I would hold a short meeting to inform the group of decision," says Martels. "Then let the new supervisor take the reins." The new supervisor needs to not only express his or her vision but also must let people know he or she is behind each of them. "People always want to know 'What's going to happen to me.Õ says Martels. "If the new supervisor expresses a desire to move each of them forward, then everything will be OK."

#5. Follow through after the promotion.

How's everything going. That's the question to answer after a person is promoted. Jacobsen suggests finding out informally. "As you walk around the workplace, ask people how the new manager is working out," he says. "You are not being a snoop, but you are getting the feedback you need as you go about your task of coaching the new manager."

#6. Tackle problems.

Suppose the new manager just can't seem to get the respect of subordinates, who start carrying out their duties in a perfunctory manner or let things slide. The way to tackle this issue is to ask questions, either of the supervisor or of the subordinates.

"Be sure to cite the specific behaviors," says Jacobsen. "And then state that this is not what you expected when you made the promotion."

If you are approaching a new supervisor's subordinate, ask: "I've really been surprised that he/she doesn't get the respect from you that I thought he/she would. This is what I see going on (cite the specific behavior issues). How come."

P ART II: T IPS FOR N EW S UPERVISORS Now, how about some advice for the new supervisors.

32 AQUA • FEBRUARY 2002 www.aquamagazine.com #2. Involve your staff in the promotion.

What characteristics will make a successful candidate for the available position. Ask your staff. People will more likely accept a decision in which they have invested their own ideas. "Have the people who are going to be supervised participate in the development of criteria for selection," says Jacobsen. "Hold a meeting to discuss how the job may have changed in recent months and what the company now needs to look for in a new leader."

#3. Train the person.

Good leadership is learned. You need to groom the person for the job. "Too often today, new supervisors are not given a sense of what to expect from their positions," says Judy Foritano, president of Somerset Consulting Group, Titusville, N.J. "They need to be trained so they know how to deal with relationship issues."

Consider having a current supervisor mentor the prospective manager, suggests Fred Martels, president of People Solution Strategies, CIRCLE 21 ON REPLY CARD & VISIT AQUA BOOTH 731

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