Effective management is a critical aspect of retaining and engaging employees, particularly in today’s tight labor market. The Great Resignation may be over but even employees who stay aren’t necessarily engaged or productive. A one-size-fits-all management style doesn’t work either. To get the most from employees, managers must focus on understanding and customizing their approach for each individual.

In many organizations, individual contributors who excel in their jobs are often promoted to management. That’s great but it’s a very different role and these new managers are not always prepared for the change. In fact, according to Forbes Magazine and research from CEB Global, 60% of new managers fail within the first 24 months in their new role.

Clearly becoming a manager can be very difficult and often involves stepping out of your comfort zone, away from your natural ways of doing things.

Self-reflection and a commitment to learning are crucial for adapting to this new role. Here are some strategies and tools to help new managers:

Self-Awareness: Shaping your management style begins with knowing yourself. Which behaviors come naturally to you? What drives and motivates you? What energizes you? Which behaviors are at the core of who you are? Gaining this understanding will shed light on the way you’ll manage others. Knowing your natural management style and your strengths can also clarify how your behaviors could hinder your effectiveness.

The Predictive Index® (PI®) Behavioral Assessment can help you gain insight into your natural behaviors and how they impact your role. The PI Manager Development Chart is a targeted personal report that provides a detailed overview of your behaviors, highlighting strengths and cautions. It also offers self-coaching tips to improve your managerial skills.

Customize your management style. In order to tailor your approach to individual employees, it’s essential to have your employees also complete the PI Behavioral Assessment. It will help you understand each employee’s natural behaviors and needs, and how to adjust your management behaviors.

Here’s an example of how this might play out. Let’s say your style is more collaborative — talking through things, sharing ideas, coming to an agreement and moving forward. But you have a direct report that is independent, who would prefer to do things on their own and only work with others to get things done. You can see where there might be a disconnect. By understanding yourself, you can identify where you might struggle as a manager with different people and how to overcome that.

The PI Relationship Guide helps managers tailor their behaviors to a specific employee. After both the manager and employee complete the PI Behavioral Assessment, the relationship guide shows the similarities and differences between you and your direct report. These guides offer insights into strengths, cautions, and tips for a stronger relationship.

Ready, set, go. With these tools, managers are on a firmer footing when it comes to setting clear expectations, managing performance and coaching for improvement. By understanding what motivates and energizes your employees, you can create stronger engagement.

The key to being a good manager is self-awareness, flexibility and the ability to customize your management style to suit the needs and behaviors of each employee. Leveraging tools like the Predictive Index and related resources can provide valuable insights to support this approach, ultimately improving engagement and productivity in the workforce.

About MCG Partners: Purpose. Passion. Performance. Progress.

MCG Partners is a Greater Boston-based consultancy specializing in executive coaching, leadership development, talent management, organizational effectiveness, and management training solutions. MCG Partners is also a Predictive Index® (PI®) certified partner.

About the Author: Erinne Trip

To learn more about MCG Partners’ services or The Predictive Index®, contact Frank Dadah at frank.dadah@mcgpartners.com or visit mcgpartners.com.