Practical Tips for First-Time Leaders – Part 2Posted in : HR Updates on 6 July 2017
In Part 2 of his video article on practical tips for first-time leaders, Craig Thompson of Vibrant Talent Development looks at ways in which the organisation can support first-time leaders.
How can an organisation support first-time leaders?
So what else can we do? Identify, first of all, what can we do as a business in order to support these people?
The first thing is identify those with a passion for supporting and developing and managing people. Too often when we appoint people to leadership roles, we appoint them because they've succeeded in a previous position, but that was maybe a technical or a hands-on position or an operational role, and they were really good at that, but this is a completely different job now. And what we do is we promote them because they've been really good at one thing, but what we're promoting them to is a completely different job that requires a whole different set of competencies and behaviours in order to succeed.
Create clear job specifications
What we should do is actually have a really clear job spec and personal spec for the type of profile that's going to succeed in this position. Identify those people who are passionate and who have ideas as well about leading teams successfully.
When we've identified and we've appointed the right person, we need to make sure that they have a job description and they understand what their responsibilities are. We also need to set objectives for them and clear objectives so that they understand what is going to result in success for them over 3 months, 6 months, and 12 months.
Provide adequate training suitable for the role
The next thing is to induct them into the role and train them for the role. That's a step that's often missed. We hire this team leader. We assume they're going to be great because of the job they did previously, and we don't offer them any training or development. We also don't support them and we don't coach them.
We maybe think it's better for them if we just take a backseat now and let them get on with things. But actually a lot of the time that's why new team leaders feel like they're drowning because there is no interaction with them to find out how they're getting on or what they're struggling with. So we need to induct them. We need to train them. We need to coach and support them through problems that they're experiencing as well.
Embed action learning processes
What we can also do is embed in our culture an action learning process, a support network almost between all of our team leaders. So if all of our of team leaders are able to sit down on a monthly basis and talk about problems or challenges that they're encountering, then they're able to share amongst each other. Potentially another team leader has encountered that problem before. They're able to share what actions they took and how they succeeded in those circumstances. So we should have a support network amongst the team leaders as well.
So basically, what we can do for those new team leaders is actually everything that we want them to do for their new team members. We always forget that. It's a really simple thing, but we ask them to train and coach and support members of their team and monitor their performance, and we've appointed them their team leader and it's something that's completely new to them. But we don't do any of that for them.
So it's getting the basics right. That's what we can do to help them and to help them succeed.
So that's it for this video. Thanks for watching. Just to recap, what we talked about are the biggest challenges faced by first time leaders, what they can do, and also what we can do to support them and help them to succeed.This article is correct at 10/07/2017
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