Newly Promoted Managers: Five Ways Companies Are Failing Them

by Mar 6, 2023

What are the ways companies are failing their newly promoted managers? A recent Fortune magazine study found a mere seven percent of Fortune 500 CEOs think their companies are building effective leaders. 

Ineffective leaders create ineffective toxic cultures that lead to high turnover, which in turn, lowers revenue and customer satisfaction and corrodes the company’s brand.  

Unskilled leaders create a culture of burn out and toxic conflict that ruins relationships and  prevents effective collaboration.  

Unprepared leaders don’t know how to build the trust and psychological safety required for  innovation. They waste their time in the “doing space” vs leading others to do their best work! 

Digital age and new ways of working requires a different style of leadership!  


Five Ways Companies Are Failing Newly Promoted Managers

People leaders are required to break down silos and redistribute decision making to create a more  connected network. The new world is smart, fast, and agile so we can no longer afford to wait for  everybody to agree and reach a consensus. We must learn how to have healthy conflicts and  innovate. We need leaders who can build the trust required for quick decision making and a team  of people that is flexible and democratic in their approach. 

1. Top-down leadership is a thing of the past.

Modern leadership requires managers to have  the ability to create teams of people that can collaborate and innovate together, since mindless execution of tasks has been automated.

2. New age people leaders have the ability to break down silos.

Coach each team member to overcome limiting mindsets and internal conflicts. The mindset of “I just need to do my work and don’t care about anybody else” is ineffective and has become obsolete in our dynamic fast digital world. Lone wolves will be voted off the island if they don’t  learn how to collaborate with other team members.

3. Emotional intelligence is imperative.

Knowing your people is a must and helps you7 understand various personality types, in order to match their unique talents with specific  projects, tasks, and objectives. A leader’s capacity to uncover each individual intrinsic motivation, while knowing what drives them, is a learnable skill.

4. Team meetings and agreements have never been as important as right now.

We are all re entering the post pandemic world… so who will feel included? 

  • Who will feel invited? 
  • Who will belong? 
  • How are things done here?  
  • What is our culture and what agreements need to be put in place to be happy and agile?

5. Fear and punishment cultures have been replaced with inspiring leaders that people want to work with.

Modern leaders know how to enroll people in their shared vision and  acknowledge individual contribution. This creates a sense of community and meaning  that is the prerequisite for retention and employee engagement.  

Setting up your people leaders and managers for success means we teach them skills required to lead global and often remote teams with agility and autonomy.  


Setting Up Newly Promoted Managers For Success

What are those specific modern leadership skills that are mandatory to set up our managers for success?  

1. Building trust that creates autonomy and the ability to make decisions.

2. Creating psychological safety on team that helps with collaboration and healthy conflicts that lead to innovation. 

3. Having effective 1-on-1 meetings that lead to more human trusting relationships. When people like you they will do their best work.  

4. Giving honest and kind feedback. Modern leaders know how to create psychological safety, where people are seeking feedback not just being tolerated. 

5. Lastly, and most importantly, creating team agreements that help people feel included and celebrated for their unique talents and contributions.  

I am lucky and privileged to coach top performers and high potential leaders in organizations. Of course, they are often the ones that get a coaching allowance to get better at what they do and  even they struggle with the above so called “soft skills.” Don’t fool yourself – these are hard and  challenging human skills, that unfortunately, organizations do not teach when they promote top performers to leadership positions.  

Collaboration requires human skills. Innovation requires human skills. Trust and Psychological Safety requires human skills. Ability to have kind and healthy conflict requires you to be human. 

So how much time out of your day do you spend building relationships?  

Ready to invest in your people leaders and set them up for success? Reach out to our team at Civility Partners. We teach skills and create practice pods for your people leaders to safely practice these newly acquired skills that will lower your turnover and increase revenue. Happy people make more money and stay because of good managers and awesome teams.

Incivility, bullying, and harassment occur because the culture allows them to. Before starting inclusivity initiatives, you’ve got to stop bad behavior. Take this assessment to determine if your workplace fosters a positive culture.

About Catherine Mattice

Catherine Mattice, MA, SPHR, SHRM-SCP is President of consulting and training firm, Civility Partners, and has been successfully providing programs in workplace bullying and building positive workplaces since 2007. Her clients include Fortune 500’s, the military, several universities and hospitals, government agencies, small businesses and nonprofits. She has published in a variety of trade magazines and has appeared several times on NPR, FOX, NBC, and ABC as an expert, as well as in USA Today, Inc Magazine, Huffington Post, Entrepreneur Magazine, and more. Catherine is Past-President of the Association for Talent Development (ATD), San Diego Chapter and teaches at National University. In his book foreword, Ken Blanchard called her book, BACK OFF! Your Kick-Ass Guide to Ending Bullying at Work, “the most comprehensive and valuable handbook on the topic.” She recently released a second book entitled, SEEKING CIVILITY: How Leaders, Managers and HR Can Create a Workplace Free of Bullying.

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