Can Employees Become Managers?

employee becomes manager Jun 08, 2022

Let’s be honest, hiring right now is hard. Every day the Great Resignation gets more real, and workers find better opportunities with more pay, and more flexibility! I know personally that it’s hit fitness, wellness, and hospitality especially hard. In 2022 alone Forbes reported that 1.7 million people quit their healthcare jobs. Those are scary numbers, but there may be a way to still find that perfect person for a higher role in your business — someone closer to home! 

I want to show you what it’s like to hire from within, and what to be aware of if you’re trying to turn an employee into a manager.

Meet Kelly

Kelly Montgomery joined my business, Pilates in the Grove, in September of 2019. Kelly’s journey from physical therapist into the world of Pilates started with a Google search — and Pilates in the Grove was the first result (yay SEO!). She accepted a staff position and began teaching a training program in September, 2019. 

Kelly’s beginnings with Pilates in the Grove were quickly complicated by COVID-19, which ended up being for the best! The pandemic allowed us to step back and look at the business from a structural point of view, and let us really look at our efficiency and sustainability. We were able to consider how best to restructure in order to ensure a sustainable future for the business, and Kelly fit perfectly into that plan! She was offered a managerial position in early 2021, just as we began transitioning back into in-person office work.

Transitions Between Business Types

A one-on-one cash-based concierge physical therapy practice and full service pilates studio is very different from the insurance-based out-patient clinic that Kelly came from. For Kelly, the advantages of transitioning to a one-on-one model was having zero distractions and the ability to focus on just one person at a time. The experience made her feel more productive, comfortable, and wanted by her clients. 

There were challenges, too, though! Kelly had to change her thought process, applying her skillset in a different environment that would best suit her new position. These growing pains are OK and to be expected! Her challenges during the transition helped her to gain a better understanding of the business, and open her eyes to a new way of thinking. 

Something important to note during this process was Kelly’s openness to feedback. These are the people to look out for. During the transition Kelly took initiative to learn, observe, and ask questions. She asked for responsibility instead of waiting to be approached with it, she stepped up herself to be a leader. Those who are looking for responsibility, the initiative seekers, are the ones to watch out for within your business. Motivation cannot be taught! 

What Owners Should Look For

Hiring Kelly into a managerial role was a no brainer. But developing a checklist for what to look out for in your employees who might have manager material is a great first step to promoting from within. 

Have you thought about what would be most important to look for in your business model? Here are a few ideas for starter: 

  • Initiative! This is #1, I’ll echo my earlier statement, some things can’t be taught! Someone able to accept feedback, and move forward with a new goal.
  • A person who is skilled at their craft, with a good sense for your business model! 
  • Someone who has demonstrated professionalism that matches yours. 

On the opposite end of that, what should us owners be doing? My expectations for Kelly were very clear upon hiring, which is so important! The relationship between owner and manager should be supportive first and foremost. Build each other up, check in on each other, this person is the right hand of YOUR business, make sure they know how important that is to you. 

Flexibility in Positions 

Kelly’s position was not only one of promotion, but of change for the business! The pandemic developed changes within the business model, and so we embraced them, and turned them into an opportunity for growth. 

Kelly had already demonstrated her craft, including doing way more than what was required of her. Developing a hybrid role for her ended up making the most sense for Pilates in the Grove. The hybrid role consisted of half client care, half managerial duties. Having the ability to create this role, and the flexibility within the business model to do so, was so helpful to this process. 

Don’t be afraid to play around with YOUR roles and create a position that works for you and your current team or new hires. Nobody ever said your job roles had to look ONE specific way!

Hiring Doesn’t Have to be Hard

I know there are a ton of hiring strategies out there, but if the last year shows us anything it’s that the process is changing. For more stories and tips like Kelly's, consider my Masterclass, What You Need to Know About Hiring.

In this masterclass – which you can get for just $19 — I’ll answer your questions, like: 

  • What role should you hire first?
  • How do you get the right candidates to apply? 
  • How many hours should you offer them?
  • And more!