Managers must build good working relationships with their employees and their boss. This is something we often discuss. We don’t often talk enough about how important it is for managers to have good working relationships with their peers.
This lesson was a hard lesson that I learned years ago. I worked for a company that loved to interview…a lot. A candidate could only have five to six interviews before being offered a job. My efforts to convince them to convert some interviews into panels or to reduce the overall number of interviews didn’t succeed.
As time passed, I realized that hired employees had a network of colleagues and arrived at work on their first day. They had a network that could assist them if they had any questions they didn’t want the manager or director of human resources. This network of colleagues was all the people who interviewed them.
What I thought was redundant (like additional interviews) might have benefited me. It was found that new employees who had a network helped them with onboarding and retention. We began to use it during the hiring process as an advantage.
SHRM People Manager Qualification
One of the biggest takeaways from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) People Manager Qualification program was the value of a peer group. The PMQ program allows managers to learn the skills they need to succeed. It is self-paced and virtual. The program is not too detailed – they have a demo video that you can see on their website. However, the PMQ is set within a modern workplace and features characters who think and act like modern managers.
This program is designed to help managers develop the skills they need to be successful. You can learn how to deal with gossip in the office, be liked by your manager, have tough conversations, give tacit approval and get comfortable being uncomfortable. The PMQ also addresses diversity, inclusion and equity topics.
The best thing about PMQ was the encouragement for managers to create a peer network. Becoming a manager is difficult, particularly if you were promoted within the organization. The transition from being a member of the team to leading it (it’s not the same). Finding a group of friends who can support one another while still having fun is important.
Another thing I enjoyed about the PMQ was the possibility that HR could be included in the peer network of managers. This is another topic that we don’t have enough time to discuss (I’ll save it for another day). Managers need to have strong working relationships with HR. Talking with HR should not be a one-way conversation. The PMQ did an excellent job of showing how HR partnerships should work.
Managers Need Supportive Peer Networks
The PMQ is broken into “seasons”, where managers are responsible for addressing certain issues. It’s like a TV series. A typical episode lasts less than 30 minutes. Managers can participate in one episode per day. It is possible. HR could bring together managers for a debriefing after each season. This would be an opportunity for managers and peers to begin building their peer networks.
The PMQ could be very useful for organizations that can’t bring together groups of managers for traditional development programs. There are many reasons why in-person training may not be possible, including budget constraints, staffing difficulties, and the pandemic. However, this doesn’t mean that training should cease. Training is more important.
Managers can build positive working relationships with each other. There is no rule. Manager groups cannot learn from one another . They can also mentor, coach, and support each other. Managers must have the support and tools they need to succeed.