This cliché has been brought to mind by more than one technical employee who has been offered and accepted a promotion to manager. It is terrific when the promotion works out…technical work groups prefer being managed by one of their own! But frequently, this upward move doesn’t work out.
Many Technical Employees:
- Are very introverted and find constant people interactions exhausting.
- Miss their technical work and just want to concentrate on it.
- Find continuous meetings/conference calls annoying or a total waste of time.
- Feel unprepared for the politics and collaborations that often come with promotions.
To ensure more of these promotional opportunities work out, encourage your technical employees to first explore what it means to manage others. Have them talk with or shadow Technical Managers to understand the “ins and outs” of the management side of the business, the amount of time it takes, and get a feel of what they like and don’t like about their management role.
Many companies have adopted the so-called dual career ladders or parallel routes so they can go into either track. Companies design these to provide career paths for technicians/professionals separately from those for managers or administrators. Both tracks offer opportunities for increased responsibility and income with their preferred career growth.
If your organization has created dual ladders the decision to manage people or instead manage projects becomes easier.