Strategies for Helping Young Food & Beverage Managers Succeed

January 24, 2011 in HR Best Practices



The newbie.  The greenhorn.  The tenderfoot.

As if these monikers weren’t burdensome enough, the young manager faces yet another challenge because of his age – namely, resentment.

You know your new manager has the skills and qualifications to handle heightened responsibilities.  But too often, older, more seasoned employees view a fresh manager as a threat, or someone undeserving of high rank.  Here’s what you can do to ease the transition for your promising, young management protégé:

  • Give your manager a heads-up.  A less experienced manager may not be prepared for the potential wave of resentment that could come his way.  So make him aware of the possibility of hurt feelings or lost pride among his reports, and let him know that you’re available to offer advice.
  • Provide positive reinforcement.  Confidence can be in short supply for a young manager.  Remind him that you wouldn’t have hired/promoted him unless you thought he could do the job well (better than the older, more experienced candidates you didn’t select).
  • Help him win over new subordinates.  Advise your young manager to adopt a “learning stance” and ask his reports questions like, “You have a lot of experience in this area, what do you think?” or “How was this problem handled in the past?”  By recognizing the contributions of subordinates, the young manager can establish rapport and build trust.
  • Teach him to strike a balance.  Your new manager needs to preserve subordinates’ egos, but he must also stand tall as a leader.  Encourage him to praise team members’ efforts, but not to shy away from coaching them, too.  Help him to set high standards, and then give employees enough room to complete jobs in their own ways – as long as they reach the desired outcomes.
  • Address resentment issues as soon as they arise.  Your young manger should expect respectful treatment as a leader and accept nothing less than high quality work.  If resentment becomes an issue, have the manager address it directly and decisively, by:  trying to understand the subordinate’s feelings (and why he is feeling that way); providing an opportunity for the subordinate to regain his pride and move past the resentment; taking formal disciplinary action if resentment continues to be a problem.

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