Manager Material: How to Know Your Employee Will Make It in Management

Choosing the right manager is a crucial part of your business’s success, and there are obvious advantages to promoting from within. It’s good for morale, and the person you choose will already be familiar with your business and how everything works. But how can you know if an employee will be a good fit for a management position? Here are four signs that they can make it as a manager.

Other Employees Ask Them for Advice

This isn’t a firm requirement, but it’s certainly a good sign if an employee has others asking for advice and guidance. It shows you that employee has other people’s respect and trust, and that they’re easy to talk to. As a manager, they will have people asking them what to do plenty, and they’ll be a natural fit for the position if they’ve already been doing that.

They Manage Their Time Well

Look at how the employee manages their time every day. They should of course be showing up on time and working until the end of their shift instead of spending the last 15 minutes simply waiting for work to be over. Beyond that, check that they handle their workload well and know how to prioritize certain tasks. If they don’t have much to do, they should look for how they can contribute. A manager needs to assign tasks and keep everybody on track, and that starts with proper time management skills.

They Focus on Solutions

When things go south and there’s a problem, see how the employee handles it. Some people focus on what went wrong and wait around for an authority figure to tell them what to do, but managers are solution-oriented. They figure out what the problem is, and then work on ways to solve it. That’s the kind of attitude you want if you’re going to promote an employee to a manager.

They Project Professionalism and Confidence

A manager is a leader, and the employee you choose should fit the bill. That doesn’t mean they need to ooze charisma, but they should have a confident demeanor that makes everyone believe in what they’re doing. A professional appearance is also a must. Although the employee doesn’t need to wear a suit and tie every day if your industry is more casual, you want to choose someone who looks like they take their job seriously.

What If None of Your Current Employees Are Management Material?

Let’s say that you’ve looked at all your current employees, and you don’t think any of them are a good fit for a management position. This can happen with any business, especially if you have a small business with only a few employees. You have two options here. If you see enough potential in an employee, you could put them in a training program to improve their management skills. This can work particularly well if they only have one or two areas where they’re deficient.

Your other option is hiring someone new to come in as a manager. This can be more expensive, at least upfront, and can require obtaining employee onboarding software. It does, however, open up a much wider talent pool. And when it comes to the costs involved, keep in mind that it’s better for your business in the long run to have the right person as a manager.

Who you select to be a manager will have a huge impact on your business and its success. See if any of your employees demonstrate the right characteristics, and if not, either train one or look to bring in new talent.

Kara Masterson is a freelance writer from Utah. She enjoys tennis and spending time with her family.