Front-Line Managers Need Business Acumen

Posted by Lauren Keen on February 18, 2016
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On Wall Street, the word “growth” is synonymous with success. Growth in sales, profits, and number of employees mean the business is doing well. These businesses have cash, which affords them a lot of flexibility. Oftentimes, this flexibility translates to the employees as well. It’s fun to work in these organizations. Hubspot is a great example of a high-growth organization – and they also have 100% satisfaction, unlimited vacation, and free lunch every day. Growing companies offer more than just perks; they have opportunities for advancement.

It’s not all positive, though. A theme I’m seeing as I’m talking to leaders day in and day out is this: front-line managers are promoted from the individual contributor level for their technical ability. They often possess no formal education or business acumen. And in high-growth organizations, these promotions are happening in droves. Maybe its drivers being promoted to dispatchers or linemen being promoted to foremen, these managers have more financial responsibility than they’ve ever had before. And as you may assume, this gap can cause many issues once in the new management role such as poor decision making, inability to align department goals to those of the organization, or asset mishandling, just to name a few. This can cause major problems to both the top-line revenue and the bottom-line profitability of the organization.

The immediate next step after promoting these employees is to implement business acumen training so they gain financial accountability. These new managers need to know how their organization makes money and how they and their team impact bottom line results so they can make sound decisions.

Let me know your thoughts.

Topics: Business Simulations, Zodiak®: The Game of Business Finance and Strategy, Business Acumen