- By James Lundquist
Management teams are the captains of their ships. No matter how great the crew is, if management makes bad decisions and steers the ship astray, it’s going to be a rough ride for everyone.
The same holds true within organizations. If an individual employee isn’t right for his or her job, it can have a negative impact on the organization in terms of costs related to turnover and lost productivity. If a manager isn’t a good fit for the role, his or her inability to lead can have a disastrous effect on the entire team.
What are the secrets to selecting good managers? Is there a way to know how well managers will perform before moving them into leadership positions? Management assessments can help you answer those questions.
Why Selecting the Right Managers Matters
A common hiring myth is that if someone is wonderful at their job, they’ll be really good at managing others who are doing that same job. This simply isn’t the case, however. It takes an entirely different skill set to be an effective sales manager than it does to be an excellent sales person.
When you’re an individual contributor, you’re only focused on yourself. This doesn’t mean that you’re not working with a team or helping push the organization as a whole forward. It means that you’re focused on getting your job done in the most efficient and effective way possible. You’re only worried about the results you can achieve.
Managers can’t function as solo operators. They have to be motivators and effective communicators. The goal of a manager is to figure out how to get results through other people. If someone who works best as an individual contributor is thrust into a management role, it can have a disastrous impact on everyone.
Often, the person who has been promoted is likely to continue operating in “individual contributor” mode while struggling (and failing) to fulfill the needs of their new position. The new manager will feel frustrated and unfulfilled because they’re in a job that they don’t have the capacity for.
Meanwhile, their team will notice that the manager doesn’t have the ability to delegate as the manager clings to tasks and assignments rather than putting others in charge of them. They may resent feeling as though they aren’t being trusted with responsibilities and, over time, this will have a negative impact on the organization. A crew that doesn’t have respect for their captain will eventually stop following that captain’s lead.
Sometimes the problem isn’t with delegation; it’s with motivation. Employers often wrongly assume that an employee who is self-motivated will make a good managerial candidate. However, what does this new manager do when they encounter team members who aren’t able to self-motivate?
Many employees need an extra push to get them moving in the right direction, and a good manager has to be able to figure out what drives individual team members in order to motivate them to succeed.
Management Needs Feedback, Too
Even when someone is successfully in a management role, there’s always room for assessment and improvement. Just like employees, they need feedback to help them recognize areas in which they could improve in order to reach their full potential as leaders.
Routine management assessments can help employers better check in and monitor individual management styles and look for areas that could use improvement. One characteristic of any good leader is that they’re always ready to learn and open to growing. With that in mind, managers who aren’t open to assessments or coaching should raise a red flag among organizational leadership. Assessment results provide helpful suggestions on how managers can work to improve their communication styles and motivation of team members, among other things.
Even different management roles require different skills. Personalities don’t tend to change, but managerial needs change from one role to the next. For this reason, it’s important for employers to keep tabs on where a manager is at versus the demands of the specific position and team they are leading. As a manager evolves and moves throughout different leadership roles in the organization, continued management assessments are an effective way to ensure that they’re fully embracing and meeting their responsibilities, no matter what area they’re working in.
By employing management assessments, your organization will not only choose the right managerial candidates from the start — you’ll help them better succeed at pushing your organization forward so that it can thrive and grow.
How Management Assessments Can Help Your Organization Succeed
Management assessments are easy tools that can help HR teams assess, hire, and coach potential managers, as well as those who are already in leadership roles. They’re incredibly easy to work into your organization’s routine. The PRADCO Quick View Leadership Assessment is easy to administer and will reveal a great deal of useful information about a potential (or current) manager. It will:
• Identify the strengths a person has that can be applied in a management capacity.
• In regards to weaknesses, identify areas in which a person might focus on improvement.
• Reveal how they build relationships, make decisions, and lead others.
Individuals being assessed will receive scores across 50 different behaviors. In areas where they score lower, the assessment will provide coaching suggestions to help balance out weaknesses. All of these factors will help streamline the hiring and promotion process. For candidates who are chosen for the job, the feedback provided will help them to achieve their full potential and hit the ground running from day one.
Help New Managers Hit the Ground Running
The Quick View Leadership Assessment isn’t just useful for individual hiring and coaching. It can also be used to identify organizational trends and improve the onboarding process for new management. If employers notice common factors popping up as a trend throughout a large number of test results, they know that these would be helpful to address in the general training protocol for all new managers.
The assessment process is all about balance. Strengths are good, but an ideal managerial candidate can’t be lopsided. They have to maintain their strengths while working to even out their weaknesses.
Without assessments and proper feedback, it can take a new manager six months or more to fall into their new role and figure out the skills it takes to help their team succeed. Those who don’t figure it out are transitioned out of their roles (or the organization) and HR must start from scratch to find a new candidate. The overall value in management assessments is to help every leader within an organization minimize the learning curve as much as possible and become successful sooner. This helps an organization avoid turnover at the managerial level, saving lots of time and money. Perhaps most importantly, it helps everyone succeed and fulfill their potential—from individual employees and teams all the way up to the executive level.
At PRADCO, we have the experience, drive, and tools to be your partner in hiring better talent. We’ll take the time to learn about your organization and customize solutions for you. We’re ready to help you hire with confidence. If you’re ready to get started, let’s talk.