Sales managers are often tasked with many responsibilities, including hiring, training and overseeing a team of sales reps. In this case, the title “manager” fits well. But what about the sales mangers or other “managers” who don’t manage a team, but still perform a vital role? If you ask Art Petty, an executive coach, author and speaker, it may be worth reexamining the traditional sales manager model.

He says this is due to many reasons, from a “supervision” mentality that comes off as micromanaging to professionals with a manager title receiving an unmanageable volume of demands from those above them, leading to frustration and burnout. The solution for healthier teams and organizations could be revamping old ways of doing things.

In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we explore Petty’s thoughts on how companies can update the traditional manager model.

1. Rethink job duties and titles. When was the last time your organization examined the responsibilities and job titles for different roles? Petty says now is a great time to consider the work of those who occupy “manager” roles and consider updating their title. This is because sometimes “managers” don’t actually supervise people. Instead, they coach, clarify or guide. Or, they may help, teach or motivate. All of these nonsupervisory activities are crucial to building engaged teams, Petty says. Think about what your team needs and how you can redefine the traditional “manager” role. This simple step can go a long way toward creating a culture of innovation and growth, he says.

2. Rethink how you identify and develop managers. Petty says he appreciates when senior leaders work with intention to find and develop new managers. This may mean giving other team members more of a say, or it may look like a new manager working with an HR professional to get up to speed. Some other ideas include requiring new leaders to ask their team members what they need for support. Try asking something like, “At the end of our time working together, when you’re — and we’re — successful, what will you say I did?” The key is to remember how important it is to get the right people in roles that are responsible for helping others succeed, Petty says.

3. Work on developing and coaching right out of the gate. When you find the right person for a leadership role, don’t put them through a single training class and set them loose. Redefining the traditional manager model involves much more — and it should begin right away. Petty says the real work of developing professionals for their new positions begins right after their selection. He adds that the topics of human behavior, creative thinking, problem-solving, communication and, eventually, strategy are all mandatory areas for development.

Whatever title they have, the professionals who work in mid-levels in roles in organizations play a critical role in supporting people and executing strategies. If you’re ready to update how you find, train and delegate to managers, consider the points above. By refreshing an old way of thinking and assigning, you can better tap into your team’s talent and potential.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: Art Petty is an executive coach, author, speaker and workshop presenter.