There are three major reasons why managers don’t manage.
- They’re uncomfortable in their role.
- They lack confidence in their skills.
- They simply don’t know what to do.
So far, we’ve considered the first two reasons why managers fail to manage and what the indicators are if they’re uncomfortable in their roles and they lack confidence in their decisions. There is a third reason, which is that the managers simply don’t know when a decision needs to be made or how to make that decision.
What are clear indicators that your managers don’t know what to do?
- They second guess every decision they make.
- They don’t make decisions.
- They have no idea how to handle employee issues.
- They have a management style that is not conducive to good employee performance or morale.
- They are unable to meet program goals.
Many managers have never received any management training, which can be a recipe for disaster.
For example, the employees in a nonprofit organization were making costly mistakes. It was determined that the managers had never communicated their needs and expectations to their staff. They automatically assumed that their employees knew what they were expected to do. The managers needed performance management and delegation training.
Another example involves a manager in a government agency who was charged with discrimination against women when making assignments. He denied the women the experience necessary for them to promote to higher levels based on their perceived readiness to perform. When the women used him as a sounding board, he assumed they were asking him what to do. He hadn’t intended to discriminate. He just had never been trained in the differences in problem-solving styles between men and women.
The best way you can build your managers’ capabilities is through training. Often, particularly regarding discrimination complaints, companies wait until there is a problem before scheduling training. As you can tell from these examples, managers really need the training at the beginning of their careers. However, it is also useful to survey managers periodically to have them identify what they perceive as their current training needs.
Question: When and how do you provide training to your managers?