Purposeful Talent Development: How to Prepare Your Future Managers

two women mentoring session
Lesley Sears Photo
VP/Consulting Services

3 minutes

New supervisors are typically under-trained for the role. Here are tips on how to help them.

Often high-performing individual contributors are thanked through promotion to a management role—for which they’ve been given no training in how to succeed! Many times, new managers are not offered training in how to be good managers even after they move up.

This is a big deal! 

Think about the skills a credit union teller needs: Great member service skills. Knowledge of how to handle various transactions. Good math. Good accuracy. Now think about the skills a teller supervisor needs: Delegation of duties. Conflict resolution. Effective performance appraisal writing. The required skills are not the same at all!

Let’s look at six flips individual contributors need to do to successfully evolve into good managers. And then let’s talk about some key strategies for helping them make these shifts.

6 Key Flips New Managers Must Do

1. Mindset. They need to flip their mindset from that of an individual contributor to that of a manager.

2. Skill set. They need to develop new skills for their new role. (Do you know what managers at your credit union must be able to do well to achieve success? This is an important prerequisite!)

3. Relationships. This is one of the hardest parts because the new manager has typically been a member of the group they’re now managing. So they are likely now managing people who used to be their peers.

4. Do-it-all-myself attitude. Instead of being an expert on particular processes or tasks, the new manager now needs to become an expert in helping other people excel at doing processes and tasks.

5. Perspective. All these flips require a change of perspective! 

6. Focus. Up until their promotion, the new manager will have been doing concrete job tasks. Now they’ll need to spend their time differently—managing other people to do concrete job tasks. 

How to Help New Managers Through Learning

A big reason that new managers don’t get the development they need and deserve is that new manager development is often not part of a credit union’s  larger talent development plan. And it really should be. 

In addition to making new manager development part of the overarching plan for talent development, there are things you can do to help your new managers (and even high potentials on the fast track) succeed more quickly. Ideally, you’ll do these items before they start their new position; but following up with them right away once they’re doing the job is the next best thing.

1. Training. Both formal management training and on-the-job learning can be useful. If an individual contributor is being considered for a promotion to management (or if that person is the likely successor if the current person leaves the position unexpectedly), put the management skills they’d need in their next role on their individual development plan. Maybe they could take an online course on delegation or conflict resolution. Also, look for project teams (and assignments) they could join that would help them develop the new skills they would need in a leadership role that could be coming up.

2. Coaching and Mentoring. People who have the potential to serve in a management role often benefit from the valuable feedback of coaching or mentoring. For up-and-coming managers, regular check-ins with a more experienced person, including celebrations of successes along the way, can be the difference between success and failure in the new role. 

To help you get going on the development of new and potential managers, here’s a list of skills they’ll likely need:

  • Strong communication skills
  • Effective influencing
  • Self-awareness: preferences, priorities, strengths, weaknesses
  • Promote stronger alignment and trust
  • Inspire commitment from their team
  • Innovate and add value
  • Evaluate their own blind spots

I’m here for you if you want to talk more about this.

Stepping in the gap between corporate complacency and organizational excellence is where Lesley Sears strives to be. Now VP/consulting services for CUES. In her role at CUES, Lesley leads CUES Consulting, which provides talent strategy support to credit unions of all sizes. Lesley is passionate about helping leaders find their company’s superpowers in talent development through a holistic approach: identify–develop–document-repeat. She’s a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, a certified executive leadership coach and has over 20 years of experience consulting with organizations across many industries to strategically develop their talent’s best selves. When she’s not working to help organizations maximize their potential, you can find her digging in her flower beds, reading or watching classic movies. Maybe, on a good morning in the spring and fall, you’ll find her running—really slowly.

Attend a Related Learning Event

Hear Lesley Sears present, "How to Create a 'Sticky' Culture" during CUES' TalentNEXT conference, Sept. 10-12 in Savannah, Georgia.
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