How HR Can Help New Internally Promoted Managers Succeed

October 28th, 2010 by

Supervisors and managers who are promoted from within an organization face unique challenges to their success in their new role and in their relationships with peers, supervisors and subordinates.

Here are six tips for how HR can contribute to the success of an internal employee who is transitioning into a new supervisory or management role:

  1. Role Clarity: Employees promoted from within the organization need to understand their new role and be ready to now manage personnel who were once their peers.  HR professionals should ensure that the responsibilities of the position are laid out clearly and that the employee understands them.  It may be important to point out the differences in their new and former roles.
  2. Building Relationships: Encourage the employee to seek out their newly created peers, supervisors and subordinates to have open conversations with them regarding how their relationship has been redefined, and set clear expectations.
  3. New Subculture: Within an organization there are different departments, each with their own political system and subsystems.  Newly introduced managers in these groups must adapt and adjust to how these systems function, and learn to work within the subculture.  That process will be expedited if HR guides them through it.
  4. Early Successes: HR can help solidify a newly promoted manager’s position by identifying short-term projects with high probabilities of success that will build the new manager’s credibility within the organization.
  5. Provide Learning: Do not assume these internal candidates are immediately ready to transition into a supervisory role.  They may have demonstrated potential, but would benefit and be more successful with training in how to properly manage people.
  6. Ongoing Development: Gaps in development should always be identified and addressed.  Newly transitioned managers may have excellent time management skills, but may need additional training in delegation or strategic thinking.  Training is a journey, not a destination.

For HR, investing the time up front to ensure a newly promoted supervisor or manager is equipped to succeed will save you more time in the long run because you won’t have to deal with as many employee issues.

If you have supervisors and managers who you want to be sure are properly trained to succeed, CAI can help with our management development certification programs. For additional information please go to or contact us at (919) 878-9222 or (336) 668-7746.

Photo Source: orvalrochefort

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