As a good manager, you need to have an exit strategy at all times. Remember, you will not be in your position forever. There will come a time when you will be promoted to a higher position, or better still, attain the retirement age. Due to your input in the organization, you might be required to give a solid suggestion on an individual within the organization who can fit in your shoes.
This means one thing – you need to prepare your employees for leadership as soon as now. The worst mistake you can make as a manager is thinking that management is all about you. If you want to help your employees in career advancement and boost their productivity, you need to instill the right leadership skills in them. When you equip employees with management skills, they will be able to guide their peers, accomplish tasks effectively, make informed decisions, solve complex problems, and, most importantly, work towards the realization of business goals. To turn your employees into managers, there are a number of strategies that you can use. They include;
Give them the right experience
One of the biggest keys that can help you turn your employees into managers is giving the feel of what management is all about. Sometimes, delegate some management tasks to your employees. Give them unique duties that will impart the right leadership skills in them.
For instance, whenever you have a departmental meeting, let one of the employees chairs it, and do the same in subsequent meetings.
If you are making a presentation that relates to your department, invite your employees to see how it’s done and constantly encourage them to make a similar presentation in the presence of their peers.
Appoint them to oversee projects on your behalf. When you need to take some days off and focus on other things that you love, such as traveling, bonding with family or catching up with friends, appoint an employee to manage the others.
The employee will have to ensure the team stays on track, all tasks are completed in time, team members work in harmony, and goals are met. Doing this will help you create essential managers out of your employees. It should not be a random pick, like if you are betting on the Kentucky Derby horse race contenders.
Train them to network
One of the essential skills that a good manager needs to learn is networking. Therefore, train your employees to network. Develop in-house training programs that will help them learn how to initiate conversions and create mutually beneficial relationships. If you are a member of a professional body (which you should), give your employees a chance to participate in networking events organized by this body. Send them to represent your company in different events. With time, they will develop the people, communication, and negotiation skills they need to become better managers.
Let them struggle
One of the most important skills of a manager is complex problem-solving. To impart this on your employees, don’t provide everything on a silver platter. Let them struggle to find solutions. When coaching your employees to become managers, you need to push them to get things done. For example, if an employee in the finance department needs input from an IT professional, don’t take it upon yourself to provide help. Introduce him to an IT professional, and let him learn how to get things done. Letting employees struggle to find solutions is one of the best strategies that can help them take on more responsibility, therefore becoming better managers.
Be a mentor
Creating a mentor-mentee relationship with your employees is critical in sharpening their leadership skills. Once in a while, call them for a meeting and teach them a thing or two about management. Invest in books about leadership and encourage them to read. Form a book club and discuss these books during some of your meetings. Discuss with your employees about different kinds of leadership, and help them develop a solid idea about the type of managers they want to become. Let them perfect their management skills by assigning their management duties. Also, create effective internal communication channels that will help them constantly discuss their goals and the challenges they face as they take on management roles.
Finally, involve them in decision making
You cannot mentor your employees to become managers if you don’t involve them in decision making. Listen to them and implement their ideas when making key decisions. Sometimes, let them decide on a project they can work on to boost the revenues in your business. By engaging employees in decision –making, you will not only give them a sense of belonging, but you will also hone their leadership skills.