EDU SERIES – Employees: Part 4 of 4 – Promoting
Chances are, there are a few great leaders on your team that aren’t yet in managerial positions. Some of them may already take on the role of a manager without claiming the title, while others may show subtle signs that they’ve got what it takes to lead.
Just as the wrong hire is costly, so is the wrong promotion. So how can you make sure that you’re going to find the right person to promote at the right time? Here are some things we’ve learned that have proved invaluable.
1. Vocabulary changes from “mine” to “ours.”
Going from being an employee to a manager occurs when team members hit a tipping point. It’s usually a point when they begin to understand a manager’s perspective. Look for subtle changes in a team member’s conduct. It may be a simple choice of words. An employee may use the term I, mine or me. Those ready to assume a management role may choose words like ours, we or us.
One key indicator that an employee has come into their own is when they require less and less time to manage. They know what needs to be done and make sure it happens, they learn to spot opportunities and coordinate actions to seize them. The only way someone can ever hope to be a manager is if they can manage themselves, and this is typically evidence enough that they’re ready.
3. Looking out for others.
If an employee is concerned about their co-worker’s success as much as their own on a group project, that’s usually an excellent sign you have a team player that wants others to succeed. Great managers are selfless leaders that want the unit to achieve success together.
4. Taking Responsibility.
A sign of a leader ready to take on a managerial role is the ability to take responsibility for themselves or the team. The people you lead will give you respect if you own your decisions, regardless of the outcome.
5. Excelling above expectations.
The sign of a good leader is if they are going above and beyond consistently. When you naturally see them leading others in all their work, when they excel far above expectations in everything they are doing, it’s time for a promotion. You don’t want to lose them to someone else that’s willing to give them that promotion when you’re not.
It’s simple. The most important sign is that they want to be in a managerial role and they ask for it. One can’t ignore the fundamental desire to grow and take on a more elevated position.
7. Mastery of their technical craft.
Once team members have mastered their particular craft, but before they get bored, it’s important to explore their interest in leading others. Some people are quite content in their contributor role, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Others, however, crave opportunities that bring new challenges.
8. Managing without realising it.
When a staff member is ready to take on a managerial role, they’ve already taken on said position without realising it. Often, It’ll be noticeable that they’re helping other employees with the marketing plans, giving advice on how to deal with a difficult client, or making the new intern feel welcome. When somebody wants to be in that role, they do it without even trying because they enjoy it.
9. Going above and beyond in completing their tasks.
It’s very telling when someone goes above and beyond, completing required tasks and ensuring everything is effectively coordinated with the team. If they have a natural affinity for this kind of coordination, they are probably a good fit.
A great manager is someone who not only manages existing tasks but also takes the initiative in creating or improving other duties and processes for the benefit of the company. Potential managers who demonstrate these traits also tend to display ingenuity and critical thinking in the ways they perform on a daily basis, which shows they are ready to take on more responsibilities.
Always look for the team to bring solutions instead of problems. A good manager will understand and have mastered this art form.
12. Helping others.
When I see team members going to a particular person with questions, that’s a clue. When that person has the answer or promises to seek out and deliver the answer, they’re firmly on the radar for moving up into management. When they help other team members and still accomplish their job, that’s the definition of a good manager.
13. Showing Ownership.
One sign is that the employee regularly shows a feeling of pride and ownership in their work. Leading a team is about understanding the big picture and internalising not only what it will take to get there, but knowing how the assets available to you can help you realise that image. Employees who approach every task as if its success or failure is a direct reflection on them are on track.
14. Volunteering for leadership roles.
A team member who steps up to the plate and takes a leadership role (whether it’s in a group project setting or another environment) is sure to be ready for management. These situations present themselves often, and those who take the bull by the horns are the ones who are ready for the next step.
We never want employees to be on auto-pilot, but there is something to be said when a team member jumpstarts their workload without having to be instructed further. When team members proactively ask questions to improve their output to the company, that shows that they could be ready.
This concludes our educational series on employees and their overall journey. We hope you found these articles informative and useful. We look forward to seeing you around our site and on our social pages where we will continue these discussions ever further.