First Time Managers

Newly minted first-time managers and new leaders are usually part of the biggest population of leaders in any organization: frontline, first-line, and entry-level managers, supervisors, and directors. They directly manage more people than any other managerial level. The stats show first-time managers and new leaders rarely get the training they need to be effective in their new position.

For at least the past five years employee engagement has been has been a major topic for HR professionals and thought leaders around the world. You can find conferences, panel discussions, articles, blogs, tweets, etc. about employee engagement. With the dismal numbers of first-time managers and new leaders receiving inadequate training employee engagement will continue to be a major topic for HR professionals and thought leaders around the world.

In my blog post Managers Need Training Too I talked about the importance of managers receiving the proper training to be successful. If first-time managers and new leaders aren’t receiving the training necessary to be successful employee engagement will decrease. If employee engagement decreases the quality of the service being provided or the product being produced will also decrease.

Upper management needs to invest in training so first-time managers and new leaders can be successful. The success of the organization is directly or indirectly tied to the success of first-time managers and new leaders.

A Lack of Leadership Leaves Employees in Limbo

If you poll everyone you know in the workforce you will find that all managers aren’t good managers. Whether you’re a front line manager, mid-level manager, or in upper management the people you manage expect you to lead. I’m not talking about mentoring or coaching I’m talking about being the decision maker. The line “I’m not a leader, the only way I could get a promotion was to take a management position” is outdated.

I agree, in many organizations the only way to move up is to become a manager. The flip side of that coin is everyone doesn’t want to be a manager and everyone isn’t built to be one. By default people end up in management positions where they do not want to be, or aren’t built for. This post isn’t about analyzing the structure of companies, it is to highlight that many managers leave their employees in limbo.

Regardless of how managers got to their positions, employees expect managers to lead. Employees need leadership when things are good and when things are bad. Employees can recognize leadership qualities regardless of the situation. If a manager can lead their employees in the midst of a bad situation they will be an instant hit. Conversely, if a manager doesn’t lead when things are bad they create a leadership vacuum.  Just because a position is occupied doesn’t mean there isn’t a vacuum.  A vacuum occurs when the responsibilities of a position aren’t performed.

Not only do leadership vacuums occur when a manager isn’t leading they also occur when a management position is left open too long or there is a leadership merry-go-round. A leadership merry-go-round is when a management position is occupied by several people in a short period of time. When employees have more than one manager in a short period of time it’s difficult for them to get their bearings. The merry-go-round leaves employees in limbo because they don’t know what direction their department or team is going in. The lack of direction leaves them limbo.

One of the main results of a leadership vacuum is low morale. Morale goes down because the employees don’t trust the current decision maker(s). Employees blame the current decision maker(s) for everything that is going on. Low morale can lead to a decrease in production, a decrease in the quality of work, and could ultimately lead to employees leaving the company/organization. If managers lead they will not leave employees in limbo.

If you have questions about this blog post or anything else please contact me at corjoejen@yahoo.com and www.linkedin.com/pub/cornell-jenkins/11/476/897/

A Passion for HR

As I stated in my previous post, without a passion for HR there won’t be any innovation.  As Rory explains his passion for HR his thought process changes.  As his thought process changes his focus changes.  Follow his thought process and you’ll see the innovation coming from his passion.

…So it has been about 6 months since I last wrote in this space. I took a break because my process had gotten stale and I think I needed some white space to think about out what I really wanted to write about. I think I know now. My HR career began when I decided to move […]

via A Few Thoughts About Good HR — Something Different HR

I’m Not Alone

My favorite HR practioner from India, Ankita Poddar, hit another home run earlier this week. In my post, HR Professionals Create Something, earlier this week I was urging my fellow HR professionals to come up with something new or different. Well I’m not alone. In her post Where Are the HR Innovation Conferences Ankita laments that HR professionals aren’t innovative.

I understand HR is not one of the arts where you use the right side of the brain. Regardless of which side of the brain you use innovation is needed in every field. On a large scale HR has to move beyond the mundane and into the future. In no way am I suggesting that HR is beyond the times, absolutely not. However, unlike other fields that people purposefully entered HR is a field that many people stumbled into.

I want to give you a brief history lesson of HR. Historically HR has been a female dominated field and it still is. In the business arena HR is a support function. In the workforce women have historically held support roles. In the mid twentieth century when women were entering the workforce in large numbers the only positions they were allowed to have were support roles. So by default many HR professionals stumbled into the field.

There’s nothing wrong with stumbling into a field. However, there’s a difference between doing something you love and having a job. Once again unlike other fields HR has been a field that you didn’t have to have a degree get into. Just having a job won’t give you a passion for what you do. Not being mentally challenged before entering the workforce also won’t give you a passion for what you do. A lack of passion is one of the things HR is missing. If you have a passion for your job then you have a dog in the fight. Without a passion for HR our field will always be lacking on the innovation front.

If you have questions about this blog post or anything else please contact me at corjoejen@yahoo.com and http://www.linkedin.com/pub/cornell-jenkins/11/476/897/

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