Eventually, your core employees will take on leadership roles. At least, this is always the hope in a growing company. But how do you ensure they thrive in their new positions? More to the point, how do you avoid the temptation to look over their shoulders and "help" them work out every detail of their new role?
A group of founders from YEC offer their best tips for supporting your newly advanced employees, without accidentally micromanaging.
1. Promote in pairs or groups.
The best way to support a rising employee is to give them a peer who is going through the same thing. It can be alienating to be a superstar one day and then advance alone the next, so we try to promote in pairs or small groups. Developing two managers at once allows them to learn from and relate to each other. In my opinion that's the best support system that leadership can provide.--Jeff Fernandez, Grovo Learning, Inc.
2. Provide leadership training.
A great way to support someone recently promoted to a leadership position is to provide an opportunity for leadership training. The employee may deserve the promotion; however, managing people is not an inherent skill for everyone. Providing training opportunities could help the employee gain new skills, boost their confidence and demonstrate that they are a valued member of the team.--Nicole Munoz, Start Ranking Now
3. Listen, don't tell.
Outline the goals you'd like the business to achieve, then ask how they plan on getting there. This provides your employee a sense of empowerment, which is sure to bring about better results.--Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers Personal Finance
4. Check in weekly.
Conducting check-ins and mini reviews on a weekly rather than a monthly basis can provide just enough support to a recently promoted employee, without putting too much pressure on him or her or taking away any responsibility.--Simon Casuto, eLearning Mind
5. Provide feedback.
Allow the employee to grow, lead and develop processes on their own. Let them know you are available to be a second opinion or discuss situations as needed, and make yourself available whenever approached. Setting up regular meetings is a non-intrusive way to touch base. Let them set the agenda for each meeting so you aren't perceived as micromanaging, but rather as being counsel as needed.--Angela Harless, AcrobatAnt
6. Allow them to try and fail.
One of the best ways I learned how to be a leader was when I tried to achieve a goal that my mentor had set forth for me--and I failed miserably. By learning on the job without guidance, I was able to gain the skills and knowledge I knew I needed to move forward. Even though I had failed, I knew that my mentor would not persecute me or take my failure as a sign of poor character.--Firas Kittaneh, Amerisleep
7. Emphasize clear, open communication.
When an employee advances to a leadership role, support them by making it clear that they can reach out to you and be open and honest in their communication. Stimulate conversations with them and create trust so that they will be open and willing to talk to you and receive your support, but they will not feel as if you are watching over them or micromanaging.--Miles Jennings, Recruiter.com
8. Provide leadership development opportunities.
Often, high-performing people get promoted into leadership positions and struggle because the demands are different. The best ways to support employees during this transition is to engage in honest conversations that set expectations about what the role entails, as well as to offer rigorous leadership development opportunities.--Chris Cancialosi, GothamCulture
9. Make company values paramount.
Give them the opportunity to find their voice and use it to better the company; allow this person to provide input on company moves, programs, etc., and provide feedback or suggestions. Provide access to technologies and software where they can submit feedback, rate satisfaction and better manage their teams. Focus on getting them to adopt a strong, supportive company culture.--Darius Mirshahzadeh, Endeavor America Loan Services
10. Give them a dedicated project.
There's probably a project buried deep on your to do list that is never urgent or important enough to tackle. By assigning it to your potential leader with some parameters, you'll learn a lot about how they work, delegate, persevere and follow through. Bonus: You'll get a project checked off your to-do list faster!--Kelly Azevedo, She's Got Systems