First Time Managers – A transformation journey

Most new managers don’t realize how much their new role can differ from that of an individual contributor. Often, they have misconceptions about what managing entails, and they may not be able to predict what challenges they may face and therefore may remain oblivious to the skills they need to develop


By : Shweta Kumar and Anindita Zadoo | 2019-03-01

One of the first touchpoints of an employee’s experience with the organization is through his/ her manager. From goal-setting to receiving timely feedback, from getting recognized to building a career – the employee looks to the manager for support. A first-time manager faces many challenges; adjusting to people management, effectively motivating, coaching, delegating and communicating. Further comes the challenge of managing performance, internal stakeholders and politics. The new role brings a lot of pressure and stress with it and may lead to inhibited personal growth and significant decrease in productivity of teams. This means that first time managers need to have the capabilities needed to manage these challenges.

Most new managers don’t realize how much their new role can differ from that of an individual contributor. Often, they have misconceptions about what managing entails, and they may not be able to predict what challenges they may face and therefore may remain oblivious to the skills they need to develop. Transformation cannot occur sans the realization that it needs to occur.

However, various researches and surveys have stated that more often than not, first-time managers are not prepared to take up their new role.  In a recent research study done by Custom Insight, it was found that poor relationships between employees and their managers are a leading cause of employee disengagement. Another recent survey study done by Engagement Multiplier states that one of the major causes of disengagement is a manager’s inability to make the employee feel valued, offer goal clarity and encourage teamwork.

Organizations tend to assume that a high performing individual would make a great manager and organically develop the skill sets required to transition into their new role. A great student may not be a great teacher. Learning and teaching require overlapping, yet separate skill sets. Similarly, there is no guarantee that a great employee would transform into a great team leader.

The challenges for first time managers are predictable, commonly known and widely studied. Yet, organizations fail to provide the right amount of support to their first time managers and lose crucial talent.

There is a need for a journey that can create a mindset shift through increased self-awareness which would lead to a smooth transition into the role of a manager.

The solutions to this problem are present in forms of workshops, training sessions, one-on-one coaching and online courses. For the first time we have created a journey to enable first-time managers to go through a virtual customized learning journey over 6 months.

To know more about our program – First Time Manager Foundations, please contact anindita@odalternatives.com and vaishali@odalternatives.com 


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