I was delighted to graduate with honours from Middlesex University in 2015 and receive a Master’s in Work Based Learning Studies (Professional Practice). It is my hope that my thesis, ‘Developing a Coaching programme to facilitate transition into a managerial role: A Black African Perspective’ will make a contribution to the improvement of the success rates of newly appointed managers.
The scarcity of talent that leads to fast-tracking leaders is a global phenomenon; however, South Africa has legislative pressure to transform organisational leadership in a specific way. Does this result in different or additional challenges for new South African managers? This was a burning question for me as I undertook a work-based project to gain my Masters in Coaching from Middlesex University.
The probationary period for a new employee, typically 90 days, can often be tense and fraught with misunderstanding. Some experts claim that as many as 1 in 5 don’t make it through their probationary period; a definite and significant lose-lose scenario. It’s an issue that, in some cases, can be addressed by companies adopting better on-boarding practices. But is there anything that a new employee can do to avoid pitfalls and get through this tricky and critical job stage?
Once upon a time we simply worked to earn money. Today, an increasing number of people want a lot more from their work. Our careers have become vehicles to get us to the lofty self-actualizing pinnacle of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Our daily jobs have become fields of possibilities where we search for inspiration, exercise our array of talents and play to our personal bests. Of course, compensation is still one of the driving forces of our career decision-making – it impacts not only on our life security but also on our day to day sense of being valued and appreciated.
So, you have realised that your organisation is actually a sub-performing ‘hotshot’ – behind the hype and pompous industry standing, your company culture actually sucks
In the world before social media, you advertised a position; tediously sorted through a pile of CV’s; staged an exhausting run of person to person interviews with candidates on the shortlist; and hopefully, picked one; never to hear from the rest again…
The long-term shortage of management skills means that filling leadership positions with people who have notched up the necessary years to make them experienced managers rarely happens. The result is that many are promoted into management before they are ready, and it’s not surprising that a staggering 60 to 80% of new managers fail.
When Mark Murphy, bestselling author and CEO of Leadership IQ, tracked 20 000 new hires over a three-year period, and then discovered that a whopping 46% of them failed within 18 months, he wasn’t telling us anything new. After all, as bad as that result sounds, it is consistent with the findings of other similar studies. Murphy, however, did offer something interesting when he went on to explain in his book, Hiring for Attitude, the reasons why those hires failed. Only 11% of them failed because of a deficiency in skills. The top four reasons for failure all had to do with a deficiency in attitude – 26% were unresponsive to coaching, 23% had low levels of emotional intelligence, 17% lacked motivation and 15% had temperament issues.
Corporate culture is as much a key driver of a business’ success, as it is of it’s failure. World class organisations are known for strong corporate cultures that are client centric, employee focused, properly attuned to their business environments and adaptable in the face of change. Corporate culture exists in all organisations, whether by thoughtful and careful design or by default, as a result of organic growth. The culture can be described as the shared, embedded, unspoken assumptions that a group holds which implicitly direct them as to how they perceive and respond to the environments in which they operate. Culture incorporates values, goals, attitudes, practices and habits. This means that leadership can deliberately change corporate culture by introducing and cultivating values, goals, attitudes, practices and habits which result in better ways of perceiving and reporting to the business environment.
Roman Krznaric, author of “How to Find Fulfilling Work” asks, “What is your current career doing to you as a person—to your mind, character and relationships?” We, too often, get stuck on auto-pilot, going through the daily motions of our jobs without taking the time to ask ourselves whether our jobs serve us and others. […]