This article looks at getting promoted to a line management position if you are currently working for a company.
It’s a good idea to be sure that a line management role would suit you before you try to getting promoted to the position.
This is most people’s first management role and a key first step into a career in management. Given it is such an important career move it is important to try to make it a big success.
How do you know if it will suit you?
People naturally tend to be either followers or leaders.
Followers are loyal, hardworking individuals who are happiest doing their jobs best under instruction from someone else. A follower is not naturally a risk-taker, or confident about speaking out in public.
Leaders like to take charge of projects and drive things forward independently. They tend to be good, confident communicators and happy to speak up in public.
Are leaders more important than followers? No.
Both leaders and followers are essential in the workplace. Leaders need followers, and followers need leaders. A team can not function without both types of people.
If you are not a leader, you may not be a good fit for a line management role or at least not currently. People change and grow over time, and so it may just be that you’re not quite ready yet.
Line managers are the first layer of an organisation’s management structure.
They manage small teams of front line employees day-to-day to ensure that they perform efficiently and effectively.
They also act as information conduits and are responsible for passing information from their team up to senior management and from senior management back down to their team.
Good line managers can transform the performance of a business.
Some studies show that an employee’s direct manager is responsible for 70% of the variance in employee engagement between companies.
For more details of the role, see: What Is A Line Manager?
Line managers must be a combination of:
Demonstrate that you have the fundamental skills necessary to make a success of being promoted to line manager, and you are more than halfway there.
To be a good line manager, you will need to work hard and take on a completely different role.
Demonstrating that you are happy to work hard and adapt well to new responsibilities will give your employer confidence that you will make the transition.
This will also broaden your experience, making the step up to line manager easier for you to manage.
It takes time for people to notice things. They are busy with their own jobs.
However, if you are consistent and patient, people will take notice. So if you would like to be promoted to line manager, start demonstrating your potential and keep at it. Don’t give up if people don’t notice straight away.
Happy teams are managed by enthusiastic, passionate people.
To consider you as a potential line manager, your employer will need to see that you are energetic, enthusiastic present in the office.
Take a little time to build good relationships with your line manager.
In an ideal world your work would speak for itself but in the real world personal relationships matter.
Line managers are responsible for managing their teams’ performance and reporting it to more senior managers.
They need to be able to set goals and measure performance to see if they are being achieved.
By doing this for the tasks relating to your role, you will show that you have the right approach to be a line manager.
Line managers have to be comfortable speaking up.
Make sure that you speak up periodically in team meetings so that people see that you’re comfortable doing so.
People are aiming for promotion often fall into a number of traps if they’re not careful.
Let’s look at two of the most common.
Your managers are not mind readers.
If you would like to be promoted to line manager, you should ask for a promotion at an appropriate point.
It is best to not rush into asking for a promotion.
If you ask once you feel that you have earned it, then it is much more likely that your manager will be receptive. Hopefully, they will have noticed how you have been performing and already have had the same thoughts.
Showing how much knowledge you have is not the route to promotion.
People don’t like ‘know-it-alls’, and managers don’t need to know everything.
They are responsible for ensuring that everything is completed by their team, not for completing the tasks themself.
You earn the right to be a line manager. It isn’t something that someone will give you.
Demonstrate the right behaviours consistently, and others will notice.
Once people notice you for the right reasons, you are 80% of the way to the promotion you’d like.
So make a plan and start executing it.
We wish you luck, although hopefully you won’t need it!