how can I get my employees to be better managers?

A reader writes:

I recently moved into a role where some of my direct reports also have direct reports. In my first few weeks, I had meet and greets with every person in the department, and a recurring theme that I uncovered was that it seems like my direct reports aren’t very good managers: they don’t delegate, give unclear directions, don’t give consistent feedback, etc.

This all came up in a very organic way. When I asked, “What would help you do your job better?” a frequent response was along the lines of getting feedback or face time with their direct manager. When I asked about career goals, many responded that they don’t feel that their direct manager is developing them or creating a career path in spite of them expressing interest in advancing and growing their careers.

I interviewed colleagues on other teams who work closely with my staff and this sentiment was corroborated: “Greg” hoards all the work and complains about how busy he is, while “Marsha” and “Jan” are untapped and underutilized. “Peter” is reluctant to teach “Bobby” and “Cindy” new skills because it’s faster for him to just do those tasks himself.

I’ve talked to my reports about building their bench and have challenged them to find opportunities for their staff. When I give them new projects, I tell them it would be a perfect stretch assignment for one of their employees, but I usually get a noncommittal “I’m not sure this is the right opportunity for Bobby” or something to that effect. Or when they complain about their workload and I ask them to delegate pieces of their work to their staff, they resist.

I like to give my employees autonomy, but I really think that our whole team would benefit from developing our staff — it would help with employee engagement, job satisfaction, overall productivity, and so much more. Any advice on how to approach this?

I answer this question over at Inc. today, where I’m revisiting letters that have been buried in the archives here from years ago (and sometimes updating/expanding my answers to them). You can read it here.

{ 61 comments… read them below }

  1. DCompliance*

    Ultimately, you have to hold your managers accountable to this like it was any other part of your job. Delegation and development should be goals on their performance evaluation.

  2. Hiya*

    It kind of sounds like both of them were promoted from IC roles to manager roles without the background or training to be managers. A lot of companies don’t realize management is a skill not all employees are cut out for. Just because they are your top individual contributor or have the most seniority doesn’t mean they should manage others. Honestly I’d ask them if they even want to be managers. Tech companies these days have realized this and have IC tracks that pay as much or more than management track.

    1. Artemesia*

      This. I remember how hard my father struggled when he moved from engineering into supervisor. He was brilliant but didn’t have good people skills. He attended some kind of management training program at the company that he felt helped him make this transition.

      It might even be helpful to make this super explicit i.e. ‘when top ICs move into management it can be really hard as of course they have top notch skills and so are tempted to do the work rather than manage the work. We need you to be a top notch manager and that means developing your team, delegating work, providing regular feedback and coaching when necessary. ‘ And don’t expect them to know how to do that. Either you will need to set explicit goals e.g. talk about delegating, get their plan for delegating right now — and then have them come back next week and talk about how it went and what feedback they provided. If you have the resources consider some management training for them — otherwise you need to provide it. Make it clear that you are evaluating them not on how well they do X but on how well they manage their team to be productive in doing X+.

    2. Filosofickle*

      I tried taking on a more supervisory role and hated it. I’m actually good with people and my team said I did a good job, but it made me miserable! Giving feedback, providing clear directions, being responsible for others weighs on me. Probably with enough coaching/therapy and I could overcome my aversion to those things. Not worth it to me. I love being an IC / consultant.

      Unfortunately, this makes me a square peg when looking for jobs. I work at a director / senior level but I don’t want to oversee a department. There aren’t a lot of senior roles that don’t have management responsibilities.

    3. Snow globe*

      If they were promoted into these roles would thought much training or guidance, they may have the potential to be good managers, but just need the training. LW needs to either train the or send them to training to learn about what it takes to be a good manager. The f nothing else, provide them with resources from AAM website!

    4. Grunt*

      Oh god, the flashbacks.

      I got “promoted” into a lead role and was told to train/manage someone to take on some of my duties.

      No lead time, title change but no bump in pay, and no input. Just “this is how it’s going to be.”

      Except I’d never managed anyone directly, and had zero desire to do so. Both me and my report were let go within less than a year, and in the three years since there have been at least three different replacements for my role (my tenure of almost four years is by far the longest).

    5. NotAnotherManager!*

      This is very, very true. I had a rough transition from an individual contributor role to a manager because I didn’t get a lot of management training or support when I was initially promoted. I did my own reading/research/mentor-seeking to figure it out and find my style, but I wish I’d had the new manager training program my current employer offers to teach feedback, delegation, performance evaluations, goal setting, and project management.

      I recently had an internal applicant for a promotion to management basically tell me they wanted the manager job but wanted to keep doing their IC role and send all feedback/performance issues to me to handle. Since the point of the management role was to have someone who could take those sorts of things off my desk (as they are important but also time-consuming and getting in the way of major organizational projects I needed to focus on), that really wouldn’t work out. I totally get not wanting to deal with these sorts of things, but it’s kind of a core part of managing and the people reporting to you are owed someone who wants to do the job and do it well.

  3. sofar*

    As a relatively new manager, I’d emphasize asking these managers if there’s anything preventing them from delegating. I think the hardest part for me wasn’t the delegation — it was getting other stakeholders to ALLOW me to delegate.

    Me: Anna is handling TPS reports going forward. Please direct any and all feedback to her, and feel free to loop me in as well as we transition.

    Coworker/grandboss/stakeholder (in an email only to me): I found the following issues with the TPS report.

    Me: Cool, can you include Anna on these communications? She’s owning TPS going forward.

    Coworker/grandboss/stakeholder: Can you just fix?

    Me: I’d rather Anna get the learning experience from receiving feedback from stakeholders and making the changes herself. Can you loop her in?

    Coworker/grandboss/stakeholder: Changes are needed asap. Can you fix?

    1. Naomi*

      There could be any of a number of root problems here: maybe it’s a situation like yours where they’re not being allowed to delegate, maybe Greg and Peter are perfectionists who don’t trust anyone else to get it right, maybe they’re hogging the most prestigious tasks or think it makes them look good if they martyr themselves on the altar of overwork. OP also hasn’t said anything about their predecessor’s managerial style and how that might have played in. In any case, if OP can find an underlying reason Greg and Peter are dragging their feet about delegating, they may be able to address it more effectively.

      1. Hazel*

        I used to think that if I delegated, it meant my role wasn’t needed, so I hung on to my work as job security. I finally talked to my manager about it, and she said she wanted me to delegate the work I was currently doing so I could move on to other, higher-skilled tasks. Next time we had a project where we brought in consultants to do a lot of the work, I had the same pang of worry at first, but I didn’t let it stop me from doing what my manager wanted, and it went really well! It wasn’t too hard to get into the habit of thinking, “Do I need to do this, or can I give it to Anna or Marlon?”

    2. SweetestCin*


      Also, are they being granted a time-table that is reasonable to do this delegating? I’ve been in a situation where I was to both make sure that an employee who reported to me was trained AND make sure that the deliverable was done by a hard-stop time that did not reflect that the employee who was “owning it” was “being trained in it” too.

      1. sofar*

        Ohhh yes, I’ve totally been there. The reason I could do a thing in a week was thanks to years of experience doing the thing. A new person needing to be trained (and who would likely need a round of edits) would not be able to do the thing in a week. And so, I ended up having to jump in and finish the thing, which pretty much ruined the new person ever feeling like they had ownership AND gave everyone else the impression that new person could do the thing in a week. If I could go back in time, I’d have drawn the line of, “If new person is going to do this, we’ll need a week and a half to turn it around the first go. Please get all your data in early.”

      2. Quinalla*

        This is a great point and something to keep in mind if quick turnaround is something cropping up on a lot of these. Stretch assignments should stretch the person, but they also need to be set up to succeed which means having extra time to ask questions, make mistakes and do rework, etc.

        But yeah, if these managers haven’t really managed before it can be quite difficult to make the switch from mainly being a doer to more delegation and eventually handing off responsibility completely.

    3. Observer*

      Hm. I hear the problem. On the other hand, it seems to me that you are ceding too much authority. Grandboss can tell you to fix, but you can still cc Anna, so she knows that there is a problem and also tell her what you did to fix. On the other hand, when coworker says “can you just fix” you get to say “Sorry, no Anna is taking care of this and I don’t have the bandwidth for this right now.”

      OP, make sure that you are not doing this to your reports. And make sure that you protect them from bosses who do this. Lastly, have their backs when / if coworkers try to do this to them.

    4. Qwerty*

      Reply all, adding Anna, with the message along the lines of “Anna, please make these changes” or “Anna will be handling this”, then let Anna take it from there. Give Anna a heads up that you’ll be doing this so they get used to having conversations with her. Include her on any meetings around the TPS reports.

    5. Captain dddd-cccc-ddWdd (ENTP)*

      > Coworker/grandboss/stakeholder (in an email only to me): I found the following issues with the TPS report.

      Forward to Anna, cc grandboss / stakeholder: Hi Anna, as previously discussed please can you look at these TPS report issues and re-issue as needed, thanks.

      1. Peanut Butter Vibes*

        This is perfect – it shows you’ve taken action to the requester, shows your direct report the feedback and context, and removes the hurdle of them not doing it.

    6. Smithy*

      In addition to short-term blocks – I also think it’s worth asking if there are macro blocks around how staff performance is evaluated and rewarded. If at the end of the day “credit” is largely given to the staff who lead on xyz individual contributions – there can be very limited incentive to give up those tasks.

      This may require a little more digging/investigating into company culture, but it’s something I’m currently seeing a lot of where I work. People who move up in management still feel like their contribution on certain tasks is what brings the most glory – not running a team that achieves those tasks. In other places, I’ve seen things as as banal as being in the office late meant you could encounter CEO requests or get CEO chit-chat time. This would add an incentive of having enough work to stay late for those opportunities.

      So while there can certainly be immediate barriers, how people feel they will have access to longer term success/promotion can heavily impact a willingness to make those moves.

      1. New Senior Mgr*

        Yes to this. By accident, I learned one of my direct reports was intentionally taking on others’ work in order to stay late and casually chat with the COO and his wife and kids who often dropped in to see him late afternoons before they headed out for dinner.

    7. Grapey*

      My (amazing) boss would just forward me the request (often with stakeholders CC’ed, but not always.)

      Nothing lights a true fire under my arse more than a grandboss finding mistakes in my reports. Boss always made it clear when he knew the solution and gave me a time limit before he’d offer his help. “Let me know if you can’t fix it by lunch.” etc. Sometimes he wouldn’t even loop grandboss back in.

    8. LJay*

      I mean in that situation, I would copy Anna into the email thread with the corrections, and tell her to fix it and for her to let me know if she has any questions or concerns with how to proceed.

      My coworkers and other stakeholders don’t get a say in how I delegate tasks in my department, and if grandboss has an issue with it he can take it up with me in an outside discussion.

      Same thing every time I got an email going forward on this task – “Copying in Anna since she handles TPS reports and corrections”.

  4. SheLooksFamiliar*

    OP, I’m glad you’re taking this on, and imagine part of the challenge will be coaching your team without telling them how or who to manage, or defining their management style for them. Been there myself, and I agree with
    Alison’s advice. It really does start with you being clear and direct about your expectations of Greg and Peter, and holding them accountable for their team’s development and progression.

    Food for thought: it’s possible Greg and Peter might need more than coaching and a watchful eye. The Gregs and Peters I’ve worked with who didn’t manage their team usually didn’t have a solid understandng of basic management skills, or they had an outdated view. Think, ‘I say jump, you say, “How high?” on the way up.’ If so, your Greg and Peter could benefit from structured training in addition to coaching. Does your organization have a talent development team? A learning management system, either self-directed or instructor-led? If so, please take advantage of whatever they have to develop your direct reports. If not, there are reputable external resources to help you.

    1. Captain dddd-cccc-ddWdd (ENTP)*

      Food for thought: it’s possible Greg and Peter might need more than coaching and a watchful eye.

      Yes, it’s possible and most likely probable but not in the way you think.

      The problem isn’t with those two, it’s with the expectations of management as a whole in the company. (And, with respect, I think maybe it goes to higher levels as well, since OP is a “manager of managers” who is asking about something that should be a fairly basic level of managing other managers, so I feel like OP has been similarly put on the spot in some way, or doesn’t have the background knowledge to deal with this.)

      I think they were people who were highly competent with the work as individual contributors and yet showed some kind of ‘leadership’ tendencies (like technical coaching or whatever applies) and were then promoted into a management role, without any of the organisational backing, training or follow-up that might usually go along with a situation like that. Probably with deadlines they were the people always seeing that the deadlines were met, if any.

  5. Emmie*

    What kind of resources are out there to share with others, so they develop this further? I know about resources like degrees, Harvard Business Review, this blog, and executive coaching. I wonder if you have specific article, or specific book, or specific tool to help develop managers in this area.

  6. Pay No Attention To The Man Behind The Curtain*

    Another thing to teach managers about delegation and career development is to make sure that it’s done without bias, and even coach that “good at it” isn’t a valid reason and often used to discriminate against women and POC. As a woman in a male-dominated industry, I still have to fight for the projects that men are stereotypically “good at” while always being assigned the projects that women are stereotypically “good at.” I don’t care how good I am at creating social event flyers, I had better get a chance to do the annual report and show that I’m good at that too.

    1. Important Moi*


      At my job, I play down how good I am with designing documents, because it’s viewed as women’s work. Even by the other women!

      1. Pay No Attention To The Man Behind The Curtain*

        I’m a graphic designer so all of my work is designing documents of one kind or another. I don’t want to downplay what I’m good at, and get a reputation for being bad at my job, I just want a chance to show that I’m good at other things too and make sure that the men don’t get assigned all the “serious” “important” “numbers” design work, and the women get all the “fun” “social” “emotions” projects.

    2. lemon*

      Oh yes, this. No matter what group I’m in (at work, in night classes, in professional development classes I recently signed up for), I somehow automatically get assigned the feminized labor. Some dude: “Here, I’ll do the value-stream mapping and you can create the shared Google Doc and review and format.” I happen to be a woman of color and that is literally the only reason that I can think of that this keeps happening, regardless of setting. Women of color are “good at” secretarial tasks. Men are “good at” strategy and reports, etc.

  7. SomebodyElse*

    Great advice on this one, and will add you need to model the behavior you want to see as well explicitly direct the managers for awhile.

    “Peter, this is a task that I want you to hand over to Bobby and Cindy. By next month they need to both be trained and own the task”
    “Greg, Let’s take a look at your workload and we’ll decide together what goes to Marsha and Jan. Take this week to list out what you have on your plate and we’ll establish the transition plans”

    “Peter, Greg, Marsha, and Jan, Next month we will all meet to discuss your direct reports. For that meeting you should evaluate them for readiness to move up/around. We’ll sit down and come up with a plan for development based on that evaluation which will be part of their goals next year. This will also be part of your goals”

    “All, you should have both team meetings and 1:1s scheduled and held regularly with your direct reports. If those aren’t set up, please have them scheduled by our next 1:1” Then ask them about the meetings… “How is Cindy doing, how are your 1:1s? Are you two working on her development plans during that time? How is that coming”

    These are just examples, but have used if not these ones very similar with new managers that have been reporting to me.

  8. MusicWithRocksIn*

    I think one key thing is to not let them worm out of delegating. If Greg tries to give you a noncommittal brush off, really dig in and make him clearly use words to explain why Bobbie can’t do it. If he doesn’t have a clear reason, just tell him outright that you want him to coach Bobbie on it. “Greg, we have talked about how your workload is too heavy and your need to delegate more things. This is a great opportunity to do that. I want Bobbie to handle this, and you to support him. Next week we’ll discuss how he’s doing and what else we can do to help him succeed.” and if Greg doesn’t give it to Bobbie, that is performance failure you can call him out on like any other.

  9. AdAgencyChick*

    Curious to know whether the OP ever provided an update.

    The fact that every single direct report mentioned this problem makes me think there’s probably zero training for managers at this company, and there’s a culture of promoting people who are good at doing their jobs rather than those who show potential to manage others.

    One thing I’ve noticed over the years as a manager is that we give the management of the most junior employees to the most inexperienced managers. Which makes sense in terms of the workflow — I as a senior manager don’t want to have to provide feedback on the most minor projects — but then it also means that the employees who may need the most help are being managed by people who aren’t yet adept at providing that help!

    I do think one thing that helps is having meetings like the ones the OP described on a regular basis — that is, meeting frequently with your direct reports as a manager, but also meeting, if less frequently, still regularly with indirect reports so you can use what you learn to go back and coach your direct reports if something tips you off that there’s a management issue.

    1. Cobol*

      I just wrote this, but I’m guessing whoever OP took over for wasn’t a great manager. They either promoted people who were the best contributors, and didn’t think about how they’d be as managers, or came down hard on every mistake, leading Greg and Peter to feel that they need to do all the work.

      I think it’s great that the other manager notice the trend. That means it’s not an organizational issue.

    2. Scourge of Incompetent Management*

      “I as a senior manager don’t want to have to provide feedback on the most minor projects.”
      What is the more fundamental part of being a manager? Is it managing projects, or is it managing people? If it’s managing people, then the projects to which you as a senior manager are assigned are irrelevant. Your job is to manage people. If, on the other hand, your job is to manage projects, and your prestige/capital is tied to the importance of the projects you manage, then you’re a project manager masquerading as a manager. Even though your job description says you manage people, that’s not what you’re doing.

  10. Cobol*

    I really like the answer. Especially since both managers are like this, I’m willing to bet that OP is different than the previous person in their role. Both managers are likely doing what made them successful in the past, so being explicit with metrics and follow up seems like the way to go.

  11. Lucy P*

    Regarding checking in to see how they are doing with the delegating, etc….how often should that be done? One of my biggest problems when I had a staff (due to COVID I’m the only staff in my department) was knowing when to check in on those assignments that were ongoing and didn’t have specific due dates. You want to make sure stuff gets done but not to feel like you’re nagging.

    1. Anonym*

      It probably varies based on the assignments, but monthly could make sense. Some regularity is good. My manager doesn’t do regular check ins on projects at all (we work pretty independently and he often ignores, forgets or flat out refuses to hear updates). Occasionally, without any awareness of status, context or our workloads, he’ll start asking for updates on a particular project. It’s irritating. It would be less irritating if we just had a regular schedule of check-ins/updates.

      This may be less common than employees frustrated by micromanagers, but perhaps relevant in identifying that there is a happy middle ground, and to reinforce your instinct.

  12. AthenaC*

    I’ll be the first to admit that the only reason I learned to delegate was when I was in a situation where I literally could not do everything myself, so I was forced to take the scary leap of faith that is delegating.

    It sounds like you have already identified good delegating opportunities, so that might be the best way to press the issue. Once a task is delegated successfully and the manager sees that it wasn’t a catastrophe, they will likely be open to delegating more going forward.

    Good luck!

    1. irene adler*

      Yeah- maybe have an attractive new task/project for the Greg and Peter managers that require them to free up a chunk of their time in order to take on.

  13. Captain dddd-cccc-ddWdd (ENTP)*

    I’ve been the ‘Greg’ and ‘Peter’ in this situation, and I think a lot of this depends on why the situation is as it is. Is it just that Greg and Peter need additional coaching (or management training, making it part of their performance objectives, call it whatever you will) and as such are currently ‘underperforming’ as managers since they aren’t effectively delegating, giving stretch assignments, etc. Or is it something more systematic and structural than that?

    When I was in their position I would have been quite competent and happy to delegate (as I had been before officially being a manager but rather in a ‘senior’ position to others), share good assignments around, etc. And yet I got into a cycle, not of my own making, where I had people reporting to me who were willing to take on these things and probably could have become competent given enough time, but in the meantime there was always another deadline that couldn’t be moved, another “drop dead date” by which if the Thing wasn’t completed the project would be No Go rather than Go and that would be bad for everybody, so ultimately it always came down to me completing the thing myself to get it done, because I didn’t have the ‘headroom’ to get over that hump of initial productivity hit in order to delegate to others – yes I knew fully well it would be the right thing in the long term, but I couldn’t get ahead of surviving the short term first.

    I feel like a systematic, holistic approach is what’s needed here. Contrary to the official answer, I doubt that making management tasks (delegating etc) part of the performance appraisal of these people will achieve anything other than further perpetuating and driving underground whatever the actual issue is.

    1. Observer*

      Nope. You could be right that there is a systemic issue at play. But nothing is going to be resolved unless the issue is clearly and explicitly addressed and made part of the job requirements.

      1. Captain dddd-cccc-ddWdd (ENTP)*

        I agree it makes sense to explicitly make it part of the job requirements and ‘address’ it (what does that mean? Talk about it, or e.g. put the said managers on a PIP?) … if and only if there isn’t something additional behind it which OP needs to figure out first. Otherwise it’s like having a job objective of “run a mile in 2 minutes” and then complaining that no-one can meet the objective.

    2. Scourge of Incompetent Management*

      I think this is an important observation. Delegation/training/skill development always, without exception cause short-term productivity decreases. This is almost never considered when developing project timelines, and it’s even less-often considered when adjusting schedules. The OP must be willing and able to go to bat with his/her management to adjust near-term deadlines and schedules to reflect the delegation being done, or alternately, must be able to shield his/her subordinates from the heat that will come from above when some of those deadlines are missed. If the OP can’t or won’t do that, then simply ordering his/her subordinates to delegate won’t work, and it will make things worse, because the OP would then be imposing mutually exclusive expectations: train/delegate/develop skills BUT don’t let any schedules slip.

  14. AndersonDarling*

    I’m curious if these are managers or team leads. The OP only refers to them as direct reports with direct reports.
    A team lead’s focus is getting the work done, so I could see how they are hogging work because they can get it done faster and don’t want to take risks with their team.
    I would expect a Manager level leader to devote time to career development and soft skills, but not a Team Lead.

  15. CJM*

    This is mentioned here frequently regarding feedback, but make sure the managers are giving feedback to their direct reports as things happen, and don’t wait until their performance review. They should be told immediately if there is an issue, so they have a chance to improve before the review and maybe change what would have been a poor review to a good one.

  16. Sherri*

    Ahh, a letter with “Brady Bunch” references. “Marsha, Marsha, MARSHA!” “Oh, my nose!”

  17. Sabine the Very Mean*

    I was a person who was brought up to the management level simply because I was good at my job. I didn’t want to manage. I struggled so much with having so much responsibility but no authority and no support. When I quit, I found out that my boss tried putting a caveat on my re-hire status by saying, “eligible for re-hire but needs management training”. I never ever forgot that and I will never consider management again. Don’t let this happen to your reports if any of them were in this position.

    1. Filosofickle*

      Advice I’ve given my mentee is not to accept high levels of responsibility without authority. That will drive anyone mad!

    2. Gilmore67*


      There are some people that are just not cut out to be directing people. They might want to do it, you might want them to do it, but they just might not have the knack for it.

      I personally have worked with supervisors that are just really bad at it. They are afraid of their staff, don’t want confrontation, can’t give clear direction and when asking them to do something it is more of a asking the employee permission rather than a solid.. ” Hey… I need this to happen, can you please……. ” ( However you’d say it)

      I think you need to do/try a of of the suggestions but if after ” x” time frame if they are not ” getting it ” I suggest you not let them continue in those lead type positions.

      It is not fair to them to think they are doing a good job and it is not fair to the employees they are directing.

      One supervisor has been allowed to be in his position for over 7 years now. Still can’t effectively write up staff, still can’t problem solve without prompting and other issues as well. I am pretty sure the reason he has not been termed is because the upper management doesn’t want to deal with terming and then having to re-hire.

      Help these people as much as you can. Just please, if needed, recognize if they are just not cut out for it.

      It is OK do to that. It is actually your job to make that decision. It is no different that any other employee regardless of position.

  18. Manager 1*

    I also recommend requiring the managers to have half hour biweekly 1:1s each of their reports where they go on DND and focus on that report’s needs, career path, etc. They should be regularly going over what is needed to master the role and move onto the next step.
    Also would recommend asking each manager to come up with a list of goals for each of their report for the next 3-6 months (Ideally they would also ask their reports’ for input and ask if there are certain tasks they prefer during/have seen others do and want to get involved in) and a chart that divvies up team responsibilities (so you can then give them better feedback on where they are hoarding work).

    1. Manager 1*

      It also may make sense (for at least short term) for them to send weekly tasks lists (that you are cced on so you can see division of work) and also to have a weekly or biweekly sync with you and all the managers where they can get advice on managing and share tips with one another.

  19. All Outrage, All The Time*

    The first question I would have for the people managers is “Do you want to be a people manager.” I’d hate it if my job was changed so that people reported to me and I was responsible for their development. Assuming you do, does your company have training for new managers? If not, maybe there is training budget for them to undertake management training.

  20. TripleT*

    Can anyone recommend a reasonably-priced online management course? The team of managers I oversee were all promoted for being strong individual contributors (before I joined the team) and could really benefit from some formal training.

    1. Circe*

      I second this question. This is something that, as I grow in my career and take on more than just managing interns, I would benefit from, too!

  21. agnes*

    One thing that I see in our organization is that we don’t factor in how much time it takes to effectively manage people. We expect managers to carry a full load of “doing work” and then manage others on top of that. Management is a work activity, and someone who is managing other people cannot bill the same number of hours or produce the same number of XYZ output as someone who is not managing others. So make sure that a manager’s job is designed to give a manager TIME TO MANAGE.

    1. Glitsy Gus*

      This is a huge problem at my company. Managers, even those at the director level, already have groaningly full plates with no time set aside for effective managing.

      Even my manager who was able to set aside time for 1:1s, those basically came down to me just listing what I was working on that week and maybe having time for one or two questions that came up over the last week. She never had time to really train me on new things that could then be transitioned over to me, or give me the time to learn it on my own, so her workload stayed over whelming and I stagnated. Now my manager is in the same boat, but he doesn’t even really have time for 1:1s, so there is is less guidance.

      Needless to say I have my ear to the ground for something new. Being able to direct my own time and energy is nice, and I don’t have a problem seeking out information and training on my own. Fortunately I’m self motivated enough for that not to be too bad, but I’m spinning my wheels and that part is getting really old.

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