By: Amy Dozier on January 21st, 2014

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Which Employees will make the Best Managers?

Total Rewards | Business Management & Strategy | Best Practices | Employee Relations

I have handled many employee relations issues in my time as an HR professional and over the years have said to myself on countless occasions, “gosh, if only the manager had managed the employee, we wouldn't be having these performance discussions right now.” I think, too often, great employees are promoted into manager positions because that seems like the next logical step in that individual’s career path.

What I have found, however, is that some people are really great at what they do.  They are subject matter experts, producing a high quality work product and are really good at managing their own tasks.  But just because you have a great employee does not always mean they will be a great manager.

Things to Consider before Promoting Employees into Manager Roles:

  • What is the employee’s desired career path?  Does he/she want to be a manager?
  • Is the employee able to effectively delegate tasks?
  • Is the employee capable of monitoring other’s performance and ensuring deadlines are met?
  • Does the employee effectively listen to employee concerns and respond appropriately?
  • Is the employee willing to have difficult discussions with employees who may not be meeting expectations?
  • Does the individual recognize the work of others and give credit where credit is due?
  • Does the employee have the respect of those that he/she will be managing as well as others in the organization?
  • Does the employee understand the big picture to effectively develop short- and long-term team goals?
  • Can the employee effectively communicate to all levels of employees in the organization?  With customers?
  • Does the employee consistently demonstrate ethical conduct?
  • Does the employee live by the Company’s values?

These are just a few items to consider.  Think about the qualities that are important to you and your organization and add to the list above.  If you answer no to any of the questions though, ask yourself if that person has the potential to do all of those things.  If the answer to that question is yes, it is now your job as that employee’s manager to ensure the proper training and guidance is given to prepare the employee for a managerial role in the future.

So before signing the dotted line approving that promotion, really think about whether that great employee will also be a great manager.  If you are too quick to sign, you may be setting that employee up to fail.  Putting the wrong employees in manager roles could have a huge impact on the employee, the team, and the organization.