Event Recap: How HR can Help Turn Managers into Strategic Leaders

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Last week Sounding Board co-hosted a fireside chat where Christine Tao, our co-founder and CEO, participated alongside Bart Macdonald, co-founder and CEO of Sapling, and Shane Metcalf, Chief Culture Officer of 15Five. It was a fun evening with a lively discussion about how HR can help develop strategic leaders. While there were many valuable insights from the discussion, below are a few key takeaways from the topics discussed.

How do you identify when someone is ready to be a manager?

Deciding who to put into a management role is an important decision and you have to be  thoughtful about who becomes a manager. One mistake companies often make is promoting someone into management just because they’ve been in their role for a long time or are a top performer, but those aren’t necessarily indicators that someone will be a good manager.

So, how do you know when an employee is ready to be a manager? Below are a few tips our panelists gave during the fireside chat.

  • Your employee is thinking more strategically. A big component of being a manager is to think strategically. If you see that your employee carries a broader perspective about the organization and industry, it’s a good indicator they’re thinking beyond the scope of their own job or function. The ability to hold a long term vision of the company is often an indicator of manager readiness
  • They’re able to work cross-functionally. Being a manager also requires being able to successfully work with members in different departments and functions. Giving cross-functional tasks and projects is a simple way to see how they work with other teams and test their skillset as a manager.
  • Ask! Keeping an open dialogue with your employees is the easiest way to know if your employee is ready to be a manager, or even wants to be one. Having that open communication will ensure your employee is on the career path they want. And that it works for the company.

Make sure to connect with us so you can stay up to date for Part 2 of our recap from the event “How HR can help turn managers into strategic leaders”! We’ll be highlighting some common challenges first time managers make that Christine, Bart, and Shane have seen first hand. Plus, we’ll provide some insights on how to overcome these challenges!

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Published in First Time Managers, Leadership and Management

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