WHEN YOU RUN a business, you get to hire employees and train them however you want in order to make them know your products and how to treat your customers right.  It is, therefore, good to teach them to think like managers so that they have a holistic understanding of the company’s mission, and so they also know what to do in case they have to make a managerial decision in the actual manager’s absence. This way, the business will not stop running and the day-to-day activities of the company will still go on.  Therefore, it is good if all the employees are taught how to think and behave like managers all through their tenure in the company.

There are various ways of training employees to think like managers; they include: listening to what others have to say, training other employees, and developing multiple echelons of leadership within the company, among others.

Listen to what others have to say – It is often said that the best trait of a good leader is being a good listener.  No one knows everything and both subordinates and customers alike can serve as a wealth of applicable information for someone in a managerial position. If either the customers or the employees (or both) aren’t happy, there’s a very good chance that the business won’t operate as it should. If employees can learn to listen to what others have to say before they become managers, then the company can grow along with the employees.

Train other people – It is also common knowledge that most human beings learn something well by having to teach it to someone else. It might sound weird to hear, but I’ve seen it work a thousand times. When the employees are taught how to think like managers, then the company can grow. This is usually the best way to groom the next manager to take the place of a retiring manager.  When this is done, it also fosters in the employees a sense of self-confidence in that one day, they might be trained to become the next manager.

Support the people – It’s good if the employees feel that they have all the support they need to grow and nurture their talents in a conducive environment.  When the employees feel like they can do all that they can to further their causes, then the company benefits.  This ties directly to promotion from within, mentioned in the previous section. This is because the employees will be able to give back to the company a hundred percent of their effort.

Teach employees how to communicate – When you want to teach employees to think like managers, the best way to do that is to teach them how to communicate with each other, their leaders, and with the customers.  Communicating has opened many doors; that is why there are so many lectures and programs on effective communication.

Develop multiple echelons of leadership – If your company has a manager who manages just a bunch of employees, you’re missing out on vital managerial training opportunities. If you had a manager, an assistant manager, multiple team leaders, and team members, not only would your productivity be easier to track and control, but it would give more people the opportunity to train and support subordinates in an effort to have as much trained managerial staff as possible, thus getting more employees to think like managers. If you don’t currently have anything like this in place, I recommend telling your employees that a new managerial system will be put in place in 30 days and that their performance over that time will be closely monitored and evaluated in order to ensure that the right people are placed in the right positions. If employees know they’re being monitored for the prospect of promotion, they are apt to perform better, and you will be amazed to see who steps up and proves themselves as capable leaders. After 30 days, the decision should make itself.