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7 Signs Your Employee is Ready to Be a Manager

sign employee is a manager or leader
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As your small business grows you may be thinking about promoting someone as a new manager. Usually, you look for someone who shows good leadership skills. It is important to promote someone with natural leadership abilities, especially for your small business. One bad manager can hurt your business and can cause turnover. 

Here are some ways to identify those in your business you are thinking about promoting to manager:

1.   They are Naturally Leading Others

Some people are born to lead. Whatever group setting they are put in they start leading the team. If you can, ask employees to form a team or a committee. Then request them to solve a problem. The person who immediately takes charge could possibly be a leader. If you aren’t sure, do some team-building exercises and you will probably see someone shine. You may be surprised. Sometimes it may be someone who you always thought was quiet and introverted. 

2.   Others Look at Them for Guidance

When your employees have a problem, who do they turn to for guidance and instruction when you aren’t around? Also, is there someone you leave in charge while you are out of the office? Many times, natural-born leaders and managers help others succeed. They are respected by others and expected to make good decisions. 

Your employees don’t want to get into trouble, and some might be afraid to ask questions. They look to their peers with leadership traits to find answers. Your employees trust that person to lead them in the right direction. Your lead person is someone who inspires others to do great things. They are respected by others and they help motivate team members when needed.  


3.   They Take Initiative and Solve Problems

Leaders want to tackle problems. They are the ones that fix problems when they see something wrong. If they don’t know how, they report the problem. Not only do they report problems, but they probably recommend solutions too. 

They are going above and beyond for a customer because they care about your business and the clients. If you constantly have to ask an employee why they didn’t fix something broken, they are not your next manager. 

Sometimes, these potential leaders may even bother you because they want problems fixed. They don’t let problems go. It’s okay to have people like this working for you because they only want your business to succeed. 


4.   They Think of the Business as Their Own

Potential leaders like good quality. They don’t let bad products or services go to the customer. Prospective leaders want your business to thrive and will do as much as they can do to make it happen. Also, they don’t like to see co-workers slacking when they are working hard. Most likely, you will hear from them if someone isn’t working hard. Before they came to you, they probably already tried to address it themselves. They aren’t trying to get someone in trouble, they just want people to care as much as they do. 

For example, if you own a lawn care business and your clients always talk great about one employee, then that employee is probably the one that really cares. You won’t have to monitor their work or make sure they get everything done. They are probably going above and beyond what others are doing. Furthermore, this person may be someone you should use to train others as well. 

Also, this employee is probably thinking of the next steps to help your business succeed. They are researching ways to get better equipment or ways to help streamline some business practices. 


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5.   They Show Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence (EQ) is defined by psychologist John Mayer at the University of New Hampshire as “the ability to accurately perceive your own and others’ emotions, to understand the signals that emotions send about relationships, and to manage your own and others’ emotions.”

When you have Emotional intelligence, you are able to use your own emotions wisely and communicate effectively with others. You also are able to handle high stress situations and are able to diffuse conflict. 

You want to hire employees as managers who have EQ. As a leader, they will need to be aware of their emotions and how to manage them. Having these skills helps a leader portray that they are in control of the situation. With EQ, you gain confidence and respect from your employees.

6.   They are Accountable for Their Mistakes

Have you ever had an employee come up to you and say, “I think I just made a big mistake?” If so, they are admitting their mistakes. They probably also came up with a solution to the mistake before they even came to you. Great managers and leaders own up to their mistakes. 

People are going to make mistakes and as a manager, you understand that. However, it is how someone reacts to mistakes that show true character. If you discover the mistake and ask a group of employees who did it, your potential manager will raise their hand if they think they are at fault. Furthermore, they are the first ones to admit they need training when needed. 


7.   They are Already Doing the Job

Most likely your potential manager is already doing the job. They know they want this position and most likely they already met with you about their ambitions. These managers have a drive and passion to make their success. Give them feedback during their performance reviews and other times about what steps they need to become a manager with your business. 

How Can You Help Them Succeed?

If you have employees who are showing ambition and who feel being a manager is important to them and your company, you should think about a succession plan for them. 


·     Develop a Succession Plan 

If they come to you or if you notice they have leadership qualities, it is important to meet with them and find out what they want to do in their career. You may find they don’t want to manage others but like overseeing projects for example. Meeting and discussing the future for all employees is important. Also, give them tips about what you think they need to do to succeed in their career path. 

·     Train Them

Ensure they have the proper training to help them become a great leader and manager. They may know some ways to motivate others, but maybe they need a class on more ideas. They also need legal classes to ensure they follow proper employment laws as a manager. Your potential manager also needs to know how to hire, conduct employee discipline, and terminate and they should be trained on micromanagement. Training is very important to develop them into their full potential.

·     Offer Support

Once you have identified your potential manager, ensure them they have your support. It may be a struggle for them while they are training plus doing their primary job.  Let them know you appreciate them and acknowledge their hard work. 

Final Thoughts

Your potential managers want your business to win. They may have some difficulties, and some may have some skills that need to be refined. If they are emotional, ensure they have training on EQ.  Make sure they understand the importance of that job and how it can affect everyone around them. They may not be great leaders at first but if you train them, guide them, and let them know they have your full support, they will probably overcome their challenges. 


Author: Kimberley Kay Travis

Kim Travis has over 20 years of experience in business, human resource management, and leadership roles. She has specialized knowledge in employment law, employee relations, recruiting, management consulting, small business growth, leadership development, workplace safety and health programs, and writing business content.

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