Sunday Times

How to …

- Business · Manpower

● New man­agers are of­ten ill-equipped for the job — and not given the sup­port they need to de­velop the nec­es­sary skills.

“In the mod­ern busi­ness en­vi­ron­ment, newly ap­pointed se­nior ex­ec­u­tives of­ten have to hit the ground run­ning. Whether hired from the out­side or pro­moted from within, their ex­pected time to im­pact is typ­i­cally three months,” says Lyndy van den Barse­laar, MD of Man­pow­erGroup SA.

When a new ex­ec­u­tive “does not pan out, the cost to the or­gan­i­sa­tion — in­clud­ing re­place­ment and loss of pro­duc­tiv­ity — can reach as high as 213% of his or her an­nual salary”, she says, rec­om­mend­ing “on-board­ing” that is in­di­vid­u­alised and part of a broader tal­ent de­vel­op­ment strat­egy. She ad­vises:

● The coach­ing of the new man­ager should in­clude ways to build cred­i­bil­ity with team mem­bers and how to iden­tify the most in­flu­en­tial mem­bers in the team;

● Lead­ers need to be able to be com­pletely hon­est about their fears and hopes, which is why an out­side coach can some­times be par­tic­u­larly help­ful; and

● A well-man­aged process will take some of the pres­sure off new lead­ers, who are of­ten un­der im­mense pres­sure to prove their worth as soon as pos­si­ble. Mar­garet Har­ris

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