Want to be a manager? Here’s how your potential will be assessed
Have you ever seen a star employee, that person who hits every target and exceeds every objective, promoted to a management role only to struggle for the first time in their career?
When people are promoted up the ranks, it’s usually thanks to their attributes and abilities. But as any successful manager knows, there are a whole new set of skills required in their new management position.
These include and are certainly not limited to motivation, communication, listening, interpersonal, planning, problem-solving, delegation and time management skills; as well as the effective organisation, coordination and execution of organisational goals.
So if becoming a manager is one of the next steps in your career plan, it helps to know how your potential in the role will be assessed. According to a recent Hays survey of 1,516 Australian & New Zealand employers, there are two typical approaches: observation and assessment or the utilisation of big data.
56 percent said they use the observation and assessment method and plan to continue doing so. A further 24 percent currently use this method but plan to start using big data to inform their decisions in the next 12 months.
Observation and assessment can involve any combination of the following.
- How you treat colleagues who don’t perform as well as you
- How you perform in secondment opportunities
- How you perform in projects with team lead components
- How you coach an underperformer
- Communication skills
- Understanding of the broader company (not only the department they work in)
- Leading by example
- Respect from others in the organisation
- Emotional intelligence
Getting feedback from:
- Major stakeholders
It’s also common to use a standard assessment form or checklist to perform an evaluation that determines how consistently you demonstrate certain abilities or characteristics as benchmarked in existing successful managers.
While only 20 percent of surveyed employers currently fall into the second category, the use of big data to make predictions is a growing trend.
In organisations that currently use big data, mined data pinpoints which staff members could bring the highest ROI in a management role. But most organisations are not yet at the point of using data as a predictor and are instead focused on gathering and reviewing the consistency of results.
Managers must have a high level of emotional intelligence
There’s one additional key requirement that’s considered important in a manager’s success: emotional intelligence. It’s important because it allows you to understand, manage and engage the emotions of your employees and, just as importantly, your own.
In what is now one of Harvard Business Review’s most read and enduring articles, psychologist Daniel Goleman’s ‘What Makes a Leader’ article notes: “The most effective leaders are all alike in one crucial way: they all have a high degree of what has come to be known as emotional intelligence. It’s not that IQ and technical skills are irrelevant. They do matter, but…they are the entry-level requirements for executive positions.” He goes on to state that his research and others show that EI is the one non-negotiable of strong leaders and introduces five components of emotional intelligence: self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy for others and social skills. I recommend reading his article if you’d like to know more.
For more advice on becoming management-ready, you may like to read the below:
- Ten signs you are ready to manage people
- Five lessons I wish I had learnt earlier in my career
- Six signs your boss cares about your career progression
- Five tips to help you advance to the next level
- Isn’t it time you had a strategy for your career?