Tip #995: 8 Warning Signs Your New Manager Will Fail

Sixty percent of new managers fail within the first 24 months in their new role. Here are eight red flags that indicate your new manager will be one of them.

  1. Doesn’t move from individual contributor to manager.

Many new managers have been promoted because they were high performers. It can be difficult for someone used to performing for individual recognition to become someone who is responsible for seeing that others succeed.

  1. Lacks basic management skills.

New managers fail when they are unable to clearly communicate performance needs, delegate appropriately without micromanaging, or manage employee performance in a timely and objective manner.

  1. Depends heavily on HR when decisions need to be made.

It is one thing to rely on HR in the beginning to explain policies, procedures, and governing precedents. It is another thing entirely to defer any and all decisions, large or small, until HR can weigh in because the new manager lacks confidence in their own decision making ability.

  1. Won’t give performance feedback.

This can be particularly true of new managers who now manage former friends and peers. The new manager who worries about being liked is unlikely to address poor performance. This impacts their effectiveness and the respect of their employees.

  1. Shows symptoms of burnout.

A manager’s job depends upon getting work done through others. A new manager who doesn’t know when or how to delegate effectively will quickly burn out.

  1. Generates employee grievances and complaints.

If the employees cannot rely on the manager to provide clear direction, create a comfortable and supportive work environment, obtain necessary resources, advocate on their behalf- in short, help them be successful in their jobs- the employees will start to file grievances and complaints.

  1. Loses high performers.

Unhappy employees tend to leave the employ of poor managers. This is particularly true of high performers who are unwilling to tolerate micromanagement, the lack of delegated decision making authority, and other impediments to their performance success.

  1. Can’t meet program performance goals or deadlines.

A new manager who is uncomfortable making decisions or managing employee performance has a greater likelihood of missing program performance deadlines and goals.


Any one of these red flags needs to be taken seriously. If you don’t want your new managers to fail, they need to learn, practice, and master the skills they need to be effective.

If you feel your new managers may need training, DM me.

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