Yikes! Back at work, juggline working and the kids and NOW your employer wants you to manage people. As a FT working mom, you MUST have the skills right?
Anyone can be a good people manager. Heck, anyone can be a GREAT people manager...if the people being managed are GOOD. People management is simple if the employees are responsible, high performers, dedicated, socially adept and thoughtful.
But what about when the people NEED mentoring? When they need help getting to the next level? When they need help learning how to present, how to write an effective report, how to handle a difficult situation or irate customer, how to apologize for a mistake, how to manage their own people, how to deliver negative feedback, how to fire someone, or how to manage conflicting business objectives without stepping on toes?
NOW will all the GOOD people managers please step up? Are you still standing?
This number is MUCH, MUCH smaller.
Being a good people manager takes time, thought and extensive consideration. In addition to a regular workload, people management should take an additional 1 hour per employee per week (AT LEAST). People managers need to constantly check in, ensure everyone's expectations are in line, identify potential issues BEFORE they become land mines, and act as an available resource to employees.
When balancing home and work life, this can seem like taking on a 2nd job.
Sadly, many companies train their people managers to actually be GOOD people managers. Employees are generally promoted into a people management role because of stellar work performance rather than stellar people skills. It is a sink or swim mentality, and the employees who suffer are the ones being managed. They don't have the resources they need to develop. The good ones get frustrated and leave.
If you find yourself in the position of being a people manager - without training and resources from your company - you can still be a good one. In fact, you can be a GREAT one.
Use your patience as a mother - and the ability to listen, communicate and multi-task - but then put on your people management hat.
1. Review any and all past performance reviews - get up to speed on your people
2. Make sure you understand what your employees do and, more importantly, HOW they go about doing it
3. Make sure your employees then understand what is expected of them - and identify any gaps
4. Ask your employees what the like and what they need to perform at a higher level
5. Determine whether your employees have - or can have - the resources they need to succeed
6. THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT STEP - If someone is floundering, don't let them flop. Meet with them right away. Set aside time to meet with them during the week, during projects, etc. Invest in helping them succeed. Only then will you know if they truly have the skills and capabilities to perform at the expected level
And, if you decide to undertake this role IN ADDITION to being a great mom, remember that people management AND mothering are not the same (although it make feel that way).
Being a people manager is a tough role because it is strictly business. You aren't trying to create productive, loving members of society. You are trying to develop high performers. The employees are NOT your children. In other words, they do not have to love you no matter what - and you won't love them no matter what.
But yes, you can do both.