Team development is always a priority, even for newly promoted managers who are distracted by their new responsibilities, writes Liz Kislik. Some employees will require frequent check-ins, and everyone benefits from development of “a structure that ensures consistent focus,” she writes.



When a mid-level leader gets promoted, their relationship with their team shifts. The leader may begin to view team members through a new lens and identify who has the capacity to take on their old role as well as who may need to step up and take on other kinds of responsibility — even before they’re fully ready.

Whether you’ve been promoted recently or not, it’s good practice periodically to make sure your plan for your team’s development — and your communication about it — are on point and providing the results you want.

Present Change as a Growth Opportunity

Start by being conscious of your team members’ reactions. Subordinates can feel abandoned or neglected if they’ve been relying on you for something you’ll no longer be doing. But they’re especially likely to feel rejected if you handle the shift too bluntly, so avoid announcing things like, “Look, this is the way it’s going to be,” or “I won’t have the bandwidth to manage the Schermerhorn task force anymore, so I need you to take it on. You’re ready, and you can do it.”

If you position the changes as the next steps in your team members’ career growth, the same requirements are likely to be better tolerated. For example, you might say, “I’ve been observing your work on the Schermerhorn project, and you’re clearly ready for the challenge of chairing it and leading the project.