The Making of a Manager
By Kevin Wilhelmsen Dean, University of Phoenix School of Business | July 12, 2015
Someone who has always been guest-facing and enjoyed constant interaction with customers likely wants to move up in the organization, but may also initially feel stifled in a role that requires the development of others. This is just one of the challenges you likely face when transitioning employees into management.
The way career progression is structured in most companies, it is assumed that moving into management is logical and the necessary skills are innate, but as a leader yourself, you know that becoming an effective leader is often much more deliberate.
The question is: How do workers gain leadership and management skills before they actually manage people?
University of Phoenix School of Business recently hosted a Hospitality Advisory Council (HAC) to help inform our hospitality curriculum. The forum brought together thought leaders from worldwide hospitality organizations, the American Hotel and Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI), and University of Phoenix School of Business faculty members. Developing better leaders and narrowing the skills gaps of those leaders were common themes discussed during the council meeting.
In hospitality this can be daunting with a workforce that serves so many different functions and represent such diversity of knowledge and skills. A large consulting firm that consistently hires new college graduates with specific qualifications may still struggle to move top performers into management roles, but patterns emerge and highly customized leadership training programs are built. It can be more complicated in an industry that hires across so many skill sets, but some of the same ideas apply.
First, it is important to embrace and celebrate the diversity. We all know that like-mindedness does not stimulate innovation. This doesn't mean you shouldn't identify qualities that are consistent in high performers, but do not let training challenges take your eye off the big picture. Second, take steps to understand where and why skills gaps exist and develop programs that address these gaps in an immersive environment. Some of the specific skills gaps identified by the council include: Leadership experience, understanding operations, problem-solving, communication skills, data analytics for decision-making and company branding.