Managing by Accident

The rise of the accidental manager clearly remains a significant issue within today’s business world. These are individuals who are promoted to run a team simply because they are popular, good at their job, or happen to be available to take charge. However, after a couple of weeks these individuals find themselves out of their depth trying to cope with the day to day reality of managing people.

Research suggests that 8 out of 10 managers have stepped into the role without any formal training so it is no surprise that most of them will struggle at some point. This may be due to the fact that they are not comfortable in their own leadership, as they are now responsible for people who used to be colleagues and friends. They also may not know what is expected of them by senior members of the business.

A new study has revealed that almost one in three workers are quitting their jobs as they have been pushed into a managerial role which is not supported with training and is subsequently having a negative impact on their mental health. Promotion without preparation can cause the individual to become overwhelmed and will result in burn out for both their professional and personal lives.

Formal and on the job management training will massively influence positive shifts in employee satisfaction both for the newly appointed manager and the team in which they are now responsible for. Key elements such as active listening, being approachable and creating a more collaborative approach when looking at new projects and big decision making, results in a higher performing team all round. This in time will also lead to a noticeable improvement in the business such as higher productivity levels and a reduction in staff turnover.

One of the ways in which we can support the accidental manager is to embed the right managerial behaviours early on. The core fundamentals which seem like basic aspects of management can actually be the turning point for an individual stepping up and enjoying their new role.

  • Time Management – setting objective and delegation.
  • Communication – feedback and difficult conversations.
  • Inclusivity – recognising the individual in your team and their learning styles.
  • Empathy – being able to listen and support others.
  • Assertiveness – giving clear instructions and not to micromanage.
  • Approachable – open to collaboration on new ideas.
  • Accountability – Lead from the front and take responsibility for mistakes.

At Futureproof, People Management is a huge focus for us and our Managing & Leading Teams programme is ideal for those currently in a management position and who want to learn how managing and leading effectively can draw the best out of others.  Delegates will learn the importance of leading by example and empowering others to take more responsibility which in turn will lead to a motivated and engaged team.

Click this link to find out more – Managing & Leading Teams – Futureproof Training

Recruitment & Talent Acquisition in Today’s Market

Talent acquisition is often considered the same thing as recruitment—the process of finding and hiring talent. However, in a forward-thinking organisation, talent acquisition is much more than that. Recruitment is about filling vacancies. If an organisation focuses only on short-term recruitment, they can end up with high turnover rates and stunted growth. By contrast, the talent acquisition process is more complex. It requires organisations to deeply understand their business priorities and use this knowledge to plan for future workforce needs. In short, it aims to align in-house talent with company vision.

What will make you an attractive company to potential new employees? It doesn’t have to be overly complicated here are a few simple suggestions on how to become an attractive employer:

  • Listen & Observe – by observing the ways your workers tackle certain tasks, managers can identify whether there is a talent gap within your organisation.
  • Focus Groups – using employee focus groups can further identify ways of working and enable managers to review the nuts and bolts of a person’s role.
  • Don’t over-complicate your application process
  • Sell the opportunity – potential employees want somewhere they feel they can thrive so use your website and social media platforms to promote employee benefits.
  • Bring your career pages to life – your company website will be where over 50% of candidates will head to.
  • Communicate throughout – It makes a more positive job-hunting experience all round even down to the rejection communication.
  • Keep it simple – Make sure you read the CV and ask the questions to ensure the candidate will fit into your current teams dynamic not just based on their skill set.

When interviewing, there are many different ways to read a candidate without asking direct or closed questions.  There will be other key indicators you make pick up on such as body language, do they talk openly with pitch and expression.

Following the S-T-A-R method is a good way of measuring a candidate’s passion for certain subject areas and will help identify if they are a lifelong learner or someone just looking for a stop gap.

It may also be worth getting feedback from someone who wasn’t in the interview for example the receptionist who may have seen them waiting and can offer comment on their actions prior to stepping through the interview door.

At Futureproof, we are fully aware of the importance of attracting, developing and retaining talent.  Come and take to us about our Recruitment and Interviewing Skills workshops or take a look at our full range of short courses by clicking here –

Are you an Inclusive Manager?

Simply put, inclusion makes employees feel like they belong, that they have a place in the business in the long term and that they will be appreciated for their hard work. These are the conditions that can lead to the kind of inclusive culture that releases the power of diversity.

Being an inclusive manager is perhaps the most critical component of creating a more inclusive work environment. That’s because, for staff, managers are universally known as the face of the business. They lead teams, serve as a conduit to leadership—and have a pivotal role that can make or break the relationship between employees and their business.

There are many qualities of an inclusive manager, but these seem sensible to adopt:

Self-awareness. Inclusive managers are open to reflecting on and addressing their own biases, with the knowledge that everyone has blind spots. They realise the world is constantly shifting and that riding out challenges and changes means embracing a quest for life-long learning and personal discovery.

Empathy (that they put into action). They care for everyone on the team, and so they foster a sense of belonging, treat everyone with respect and actively support their employees’ psychological safety, mental health and overall well-being.

Inclusive managers value differences, seek out varied opinions and understand the benefits that a diverse workforce can contribute to the business.

They work to earn the trust of their employees and the business they serve. They are a model of integrity, honesty and are always striving for transparency.

Empowerment – They encourage employees to be their best. At every opportunity, they support employees to reach their full potential. They place value and emphasis on collaboration and a team-oriented approach, with the understanding that a siloed leader-only strategy is a thing of the past.

They understand the business environment.  Businesses are like people, no two are alike. Each business has a unique history, culture, and set of identities among its employees. To become more inclusive, start by becoming an authority in your own work environment. Do this by digging into the business’s past, understanding the present and paying attention to the aspirations for the future, as articulated by its leaders.

Reassess your management practices – Rely on your desire for learning to get the information you need to look at your management style.  Where can you develop and stretch?  What can you stop, start and continue doing? 

Apply the human-centric approach – Being an inclusive manager means treating every interaction with your employees as an opportunity to lift them up to be their best.  Employees remain a company’s most valuable asset – treat them like that!

Connect with and learn from other managers and employees – Along with your journey to better understand your business, review the list above on the qualities of inclusive managers and take note of people in your business who are clearly displaying those traits.

Promoting an inclusive team culture is more important than ever, talk to us about how we can support you and your business along that journey.  Tel: 01623 409 824 / Email:

Supporting your teams’ Mental Health

The mental health of each team member is vital to business performance. Leaders at every level must intentionally and continually commit to finding ways to improve the mental health of their teams.

Finding ways to improve each team member’s mental health in the workplace requires intentional and continual leadership commitment and action. A healthy workplace requires buy-in from key stakeholders, executives, and managers all the way down to front-line supervisors and employees.  It shouldn’t just be seen as something HR will take care of.

We think these ideas would go a long way to help managers support their teams better.

Enrol in workplace mental health training

Mental health symptoms aren’t new, but they impact team members at an increasing and alarming rate, making it a top area for trainers and for leaders looking to build and maintain healthier teams. The impact of mental health is complex; understanding the basics requires specialized training.

Mental health training can be a preventive approach to mental health issues whereby leaders can gain insight into the types of signs they should look for that might indicate a team member needs more help and support. This training can also offer leaders the tools they need to provide the support required.

Solicit outside professionals

Training isn’t the end of being prepared to support each team member in their quest for better mental health; it’s the beginning. Training provides a basis for being more supportive, but implementing policies and taking action to improve mental health and resilience could require mental health professionals.

Provide a means for feedback

Receiving honest feedback from each team member is possible only if they feel comfortable doing so; surveys are a great way to get specific and focused responses. It may be helpful to work with HR or outside mental health professionals to craft a questionnaire and decipher the results.

Check back in with team members

Closing the loop is often a step overlooked but critical, especially when communicating between team members and leaders. It’s not enough to get input about what’s working or not, make changes, and forget to follow up. The end-to-end feedback loop requires checking in with team members in a timely way to ensure changes that have been made are providing the level of support they need.

Be an empathetic leader

Empathy is a leadership competency; it’s the ability to lead while also making every effort to understand the experiences and needs of others. Empathy is one of the most essential characteristics of successful leaders and can offer many benefits for leaders and teams, including creating bonds, providing more insight, and increasing understanding and communication.

Welcome and encourage mental health days

Every person needs time throughout the year to regroup and recoup. Leaders should encourage every team member to take paid formal mental health days. This provides much-needed time to take a break from work-related stressors, attend mental health-related appointments, clear their heads, or have some guilt-free downtime without the risk of judgment. Mental health days should come with a no-questions-asked policy.

If you’d like to know more about how we could partner with you on this topic, please get in touch.  Tel: 01623 409 824 / Email:

Communication – every Manager’s friend

When you become a manager, dynamics between you and your team members changes and an element of distance between you and them soon becomes apparent.  If you don’t bridge this gap, things can spiral and can negatively impact business operations.

Many believe that the key to bridging this gap is effective communication.  Managers must learn quickly how to listen, facilitate discussion, and recognise the needs of their teams in order to have a positive impact.

The first thing that’s important to remember is that everyone communicates differently – some employees may work better with verbal feedback, whilst others may prefer to have written feedback which they can reflect on. Treating people the same does not lead to the same results.  The best way to tackle this, is to talk to your teams – how do they like to be communicated with?  Some might like informal and frequent catch ups and check ins, others might want something a little more formal and structured, either way, your team is made up of individuals, treat them as individuals.

There are pitfalls to bear in mind though, focussing on weaknesses, disregarding personal growth, being unapproachable, keeping things to yourself, not caring and micromanaging are some of the most common attributes that can creep in when people become managers.

Avoiding these pitfalls is not as simple as it sounds, but these common tips can put any manager on the front foot.

Meet your team

Weekly meetings can help team members feel comfortable communicating with each other and with their managers. They also allow team members to talk openly about projects they’re working on, challenges they’re facing, or questions they might have.

Spend time on a 1:1 level

Communicating in groups will help keep your team on the right path, but good managers create additional avenues of communication for their teams. Regular 1:1’s offers the perfect opportunity for more direct conversation between managers and individuals. Whether these meetings are quick and informal or structured and formal, they are opportunities to connect and collaborate.

Keep your team updated

Many team members can feel disconnected from decisions made by management – keeping your employees informed not only improves communication, it’s also a simple way to build trust and cultivate a shared cause or purpose.


Being in a position of authority doesn’t mean that you have to be intimidating. Managers should feel comfortable having conversations with employees about topics that aren’t specifically work related. The same goes for office-related issues. Be open when members of your team seek your help or have questions—after all, that’s what you’re there for. Open communication is all about trust, and the principle works both ways.

Use Tech

Whether it’s a chat app, an intranet, or something else entirely, taking advantage of the right tool can go a long way toward improving communication between managers and employees.


Most people aren’t sure how well they’re performing in their role. This can have a tremendous impact on their self-confidence, and subsequently how open and direct they are in their communication. One potential solution to this problem is to regularly ask for (and give) feedback on performance. Positive or negative, honest feedback lets everyone know where they stand and paves the way for open interaction.

Come and talk to us about how communication fits into our management & leadership training by calling 01623 409 824 or emailing us at