Spending time to develop employees into managers is a win-win proposition. It creates a growth vehicle for hourly employees to sample management responsibilities, and it also provides much-needed relief when business increases dramatically, managers take vacations, or a management vacancy occurs. As you probably already know — anything can happen in business, and for that reason, having a handful of skilled hourly employees that you trust to empower is a real asset.

It’s not uncommon for hourly employees to struggle when put into managerial positions. Anyone who is expected to wear one hat today and a different one tomorrow always goes through some role-confusion, as do their co-workers. One of the most difficult situations to overcome is the first unpopular decision that key employees have to make for their peers. The thought of being ostracized by the group can, and often does, influence the process.

Are Employees Ready to Move Up?

Key employees may excel at their own jobs, but have they been introduced to the rigors of management on any given shift? Have they been properly coached on decision-making? Before you hand over the keys, make certain you’ve covered the basics of the job. Develop employees by having key people go through some management-level online training courses, especially those that focus on communication skills and problem solving. Then, be sure they understand the key lessons of managerial success.

Lesson One: Manage for financial results. Work with key employees on shift plans for managing labor, cash handling and supplies. Don’t forget to review the budgets for these areas.

Lesson Two: Employees are your greatest assets, so treat them with respect. Many new managers have difficulty exercising their newfound authority. In tough situations, remember not to be curt or condescending.

Lesson Three: Strike a balance between financial accountability, customers, and employees. When faced with a difficult decision, fall back on good judgment. Ask: Will my decision be good for the customer? For my staff? For business? A good decision will positively affect all three.