Before swiftly promoting your next superstar at work, I caution you to take a step back and do some good ol’ due diligence. You owe it to that superstar and your organization. Let me explain. So many times, we, as consultants have heard clients say, “We promoted our best production worker (or most successful sales team member) to a manager role. Unfortunately, we are only four weeks in to the new assignment and we can’t decide: should we let them go or move them back in to their prior position?” Tough decision for sure! You are about to significantly impact their life and also mess with several emotions of the team. We are glad to quickly swoop in and navigate a resolution, but we also take the time to educate on how to approach that situation next time.
I’d like to recommend posing three simple concepts to explore before awarding them a manager role.
Do they want to supervise people, and can they handle changing their dynamic with the team? Ask them a few pointed questions and gauge their response.
“Sue came to work today and mentioned her mother was diagnosed with terminal heart failure – how do you respond?”
“Bill – the 2nd highest sales team member – is pushing you for a raise within a week of your promotion and he knows what you made before your promotion. What do you do?”
Is this superstar organized? They need to be; they will now manage not only people, but files and documents that have legal consequences if not handled appropriately. Managers are an extension of the HR team, executive leadership, and the organization as a whole. Are they organized and up for that type of responsibility?
Can they be assertive when needed? Don’t wait for a critical situation or decision to be made before you know if they can stand on their own two feet and follow through. If you promote this person, what type of management training do they need, and how will you make sure they get coached or trained on communication skills, negotiation, conflict resolution, performance management, time management, budgeting, and goal development? If you cannot afford time to train them, don’t set them up to fail.
Hopefully these ideas can help you turn a superstar in to a rock star for your organization. The good thing is, a rock star can be one with supervisory responsibilities or not. We need strong team members on the line and hitting sales out of the ball park, and we need to recognize them too. They will take your organization far, and it’s okay if they are not racing upward! Please reach out to Purple Ink, or to me directly, if you’d like more tips on how to interview an internal candidate for a manager role, or keep your superstars engaged and moving onward without a promotion in sight.