Common 360 Challenges

Adding leadership competencies to your manager’s skills

Many organizations are struggling with the transition into a global economy, forcing them to flatten their management hierarchy. As a result, today’s managers are faced with increased responsibilities as they take on the traditional competencies utilized by a manager, while also learning and applying new leadership skills.

This new business environment has produced more virtual and diverse teams. Overseeing a culturally and geographically diverse team requires today’s managers to be extremely flexible, often requiring them to adapt to the changing management landscape quickly. Decision-making, being assertive with ideas, communicating more clearly, and clarifying goals and objectives while inspiring creative commitment are all competencies that have increased in today’s management role.

Solution
In recognizing this challenge we’ve created an instrument that literally merges the concepts of management and leadership roles. For over three decades we’ve had both front-line management and senior leadership assessments, but not until we combined these concepts under one assessment were we truly able to offer our clients a hybrid instrument, effectively measuring both skill sets. This mid-management assessment was essentially an “up-leveling” of the traditional front-line tool. We added in such competencies as envisioning opportunity, risk-taking, clarifying objectives, and positioning these concepts in simple, everyday language.

  • Individual Perspective
    Leadership Competencies for Managers – This survey uniquely combines leadership and management competencies to provide your managers with a competitive advantage in today’s ever-changing business environment.
  • Organizational Perspective
    Group Report For Planning Training & Development – A group feedback report (aka composite or aggregate report) can be utilized to identify how the group’s skills rated compared to the organization as whole, or to TBC’s international norms. Results can clearly highlight the particular areas that a group might need training in, helping provide the foundational knowledge necessary to build targeted leadership/management development curriculum.

Ensuring your executives have strong skills for leading the organization

Among the ranks of executives within a company you’ll find those that have been promoted as a way to reward and encourage high performers. Typically the reward is not because they are great leaders or managers but because they contributed to the bottom line.

These leaders often remain focused on a specialized talent, when in reality they need to broaden their competencies in order to become models of leadership for the whole organization. This of course helps ensure that the strategic objectives of the organization can be obtained.

Solution
Some organizations try to solve this challenge by putting two people together to balance each other’s skills, such as a strategist and a leader of people. However, this approach oftentimes does not have the desired outcome, and can be costly for the organization.

A better solution is to benchmark the executive ranks to encourage the development of leadership skills at an individual level, and to then determine training and development at an organizational level. Keep in mind that this type of feedback is sometimes the first of its kind for these executives. Ideally it’s providing insight into what’s truly important to their role, as well as how they are perceived by their key stakeholders, peers, and direct reports.

  • Individual Perspective
    Executive Leadership Survey – This survey measures an executive’s strategic perspective, focusing on skills such as envisioning the future, understanding the internal & external environment, what markets the organization will be in, what strategic objectives will be selected, as well as communicating vision in a compelling and inspiring way.

    Executive Team Survey – This survey measures the effectiveness of strategic teams, focusing on the functionality and credibility of the senior team. Members of the team, and selected direct reports of team members, are surveyed to determine the effectiveness of the group. Individuals are not evaluated.

    One-on-One Coaching – Coaching is encouraged to help the executive determine where they can get leverage in improving the effectiveness of their role. Coaching can be continued after the initial assessment to help teach and guide, but at a minimum to help develop a plan for the following year.

  • Organizational Perspective
    Group Report For Planning Training & Development – A group feedback report (aka composite or aggregate report) can be utilized to identify how the group’s skills rated compared to the organization as whole, or to TBC’s international norms. Results can clearly highlight the particular areas that a group might need training in, helping provide the foundational knowledge necessary to build targeted leadership/management development curriculum.

Effectively transitioning new managers into their role

Every company struggles with the transitioning of individual performers into the management role. In many cases, the organization loses a great individual contributor and gains a mediocre manager.

New managers need to become comfortable and confident in supervising direct reports who were formerly peers. In addition, they need to transition their focus from maintaining their own specific technical skills, goals, and deadlines to managing these aspects for others. They are now in a position where they need to be open to upward feedback, actively providing feedback to others, reinforcing good performance, and mastering the art of delegation.

Solution
New managers need the appropriate tools to help soften the transition from peer to manager, as well as a way to understand their new role.

Candid feedback on one’s management competencies gives the new manager clarification on their role, as well as what behaviors need to continue, be stopped, or be changed. Identifying areas for improvement, and communicating their developmental goals to their team, will help the manager be viewed as effective and credible.

  • Individual Perspective
    Survey of Management Practices – New managers assess their current competencies using the Survey of Management Practices. This survey efficiently clarifies the role of management, providing feedback on the supervisory skills that are vital to producing deliverables through other employees.

    Goal setting is the key skill measured, as well as collaborative planning, giving feedback on progress, making control adjustments when needed, and providing recognition with rewards.

    Coaching – Candid feedback can be overwhelming for a new manager. Therefore, coaching is encouraged to defuse emotional responses and help guide and focus development towards improvement, so the manager gets the most from the feedback process.

    Training – Training is encouraged to target areas that need improvement indicated by the feedback results.

    Basic management training can be taught in our 2-Day Managing Through The Task Cycle® course. This class has managers learn and practice the basics of supervision, such as setting goals, managing difficult employees, planning, and problem solving.

  • Organizational Perspective
    Group Report For Planning Training & Development – A group feedback report (aka composite or aggregate report) can be utilized to identify how the group’s skills rated compared to the organization as whole, or to TBC’s international norms. Results can clearly highlight the particular areas that a group might need training in, helping provide the foundational knowledge necessary to build targeted leadership/management development curriculum.

Prioritizing leadership & management training

Today’s HR professionals have hundreds of choices when laying out a training program for their organization. Trying to narrow it down to something that fits their unique culture, operational problems, and strategic goals can be difficult.

Solution
The first step to prioritizing training and development is to effectively determine where leadership competencies stand in your organization. In order to do this you need assessment tools that reliably measure individual competencies while creating a picture of leadership skills at an organizational level.

TBC’s Task Cycle® based surveys can help you identify crucial areas that need development. They cover role related concepts, making sure the assessment used not only measures the competencies necessary but that the resulting data can be trusted and used for planning.

  • Individual Perspective
    Individual Assessments – Each individual in a selected group, or the entire organization, is assessed based on their respective roles. The individuals use the resulting data to focus their development plan on the key things that need work, whether building on their strengths or working on their shortfalls. As individuals improve the organization collectively improves.
  • Organizational Perspective
    Group Report For Planning Training & Development – A group feedback report (aka composite or aggregate report) can be utilized to identify how the group’s skills rated compared to the organization as whole, or to TBC’s international norms. Results can clearly highlight the particular areas that a group might need training in, helping provide the foundational knowledge necessary to build targeted leadership/management development curriculum.

Providing first-line employees with development tools

Front-line employees, also known as an organization’s individual contributors (ICs) are typically a neglected group when it comes to training and development. Often considered the backbone of an organization, the IC has a significant challenge in that they’re often expected to complete their work with the help of others, but without the authority. They depend heavily on cooperation across departments, especially with peers, and need to have effective communication and persuasion skills to be successful in their role.

Solution
Two primary categories common to individual contributors are those with highly technical and very specific skill sets, such as chemists, engineers, IT staff, designers, etc., and those with a more well-rounded skill set, such as sales and customer service reps.

Providing the right measurement tools to these audiences will help ensure that they’re working on the behaviors needed to excel in their position.

  • Individual Perspective
    Technical Professional Survey - Clarification of goals, creativity, and innovation are several key competencies measured by this assessment. These skills help to establish the IC’s credibility, ultimately leading to a stronger base for influencing others. Other key skills measured are how well the individual plans and problem solves.

    Client Relations Survey - As you might guess, this survey measures key skills as related to servicing and understanding the need of clients. In addition to measuring their ability to establish rapport, we gauge their proficiency at analyzing clients’ needs, anticipating the benefits of the offered product or service, and ultimately making recommendations that the client will see as adding value to their organization.

  • Organizational Perspective
    Group Report For Planning Training & Development - A group feedback report (aka composite or aggregate report) can be utilized to identify how the group’s skills rated compared to the organization as whole, or to TBC’s international norms. Results can clearly highlight the particular areas that a group might need training in, helping provide the foundational knowledge necessary to build targeted leadership/management development curriculum.