17 Sure Signs Your Employee is Management Material [Infographic]

Categories: Advice for HR Professionals, Recruitment Advice, Trends and Learning


Managers are born from humble beginnings. It usually starts with a committed and motivated employee who continuously gather success and gain appreciation from the whole company. All goes well until they climb the managerial ladder and promote new changes within.

With the changing work landscape, a new set of millennial employees is shaping the workforce in a new way. In fact, 41% of millennials said that they enjoy managing other people, while 32% of Generation X claims to be so.

From processes, advanced skills, and expertise, the new batch of employees is more competent and manager-ready than ever. With the fast-paced corporate culture, it’s important to recognize employees who excel and are ready to climb the managerial heights before executing an in-depth managerial search.

Recruitment consultants got their hands full on evaluating employees who are more than ready to face management positions. The first step in recognizing employees with manager quality is to observe if they have specific qualities within them.

Qualities of a Manager-Ready Employee


  • Confident in many ways – An employee who emits confidence at all times is someone who can take on the role of a manager where credibility and trust are important in the long run.
  • Empowered and driven – An employee who is passionate and results-driven is someone who can lead the team to continuous growth and development.
  • Enthusiastic and inspired – An employee who has a clear vision for the company is also a good role model for new and old employees.
  • Entrepreneurial mindset – An employee who thinks with the liking of an entrepreneur is bound to be successful when managing projects with the best returns.
  • Flexible – An employee who can adjust and adapt to a fast-paced environment will make transition bearable and feasible.
  • Decisive Decision-maker – An employee who decides what’s best for the team will steer the company to victory.
  • Opinion-listener and mentor – An employee who listens to contrasting opinions and is a great coach to all is a welcomed addition to the top-level ranks.
  • Ambitious – An employee who has great hopes for the company and has a leadership outlook will go a long way.
  • Contributes positivity – An employee who contributes positivity in terms of relationships and work results is someone to look up to for motivation.

You can consider an employee as manager-ready when


  • They exceed above expectations. Employees have high expectations for their managers. If an employee is a constant achiever of greater expectations, it’s a sign that they’re ready for management as early as you can recognize them for a promotion.


  • They take responsibility and looks out for the team. An employee who has the best interests and welfare of the entire team in mind, regardless of problems and outcomes. To look after the growth and development of a team is a sign of managerial-readiness.


  • They are accountable for mistakes. While mistakes are inevitable, an employee who faces problems head on without twitching under the state of negativity and opinions is a sign of someone who’s ready to take on a higher role.
  • They look for solutions, not problems. An action plan is a manager’s weapon. An employee who focuses on resolving solutions instead of counting the possible problems is a manager in the making.


  • They volunteer and are action-oriented. Opportunities come and go. An employee who knows how to grasp and lead such circumstances and relate it for the company’s improvement is worthy of a managerial position.


  • They acknowledge everyone in the team. There’s no ‘I’ in the team. An employee who takes each and every team member into account and equal share in the spotlight is a manager who’s going to be loved by all employees.


  • They are masters and managers (with no realizations). Employees are already managers in the way they act, work, and interact even without realizing it. They are always in search of mastering their work and expertise to share it with the team.


Get to Know your Manager-Ready Employee:


  • Ask: What is management for them. Although a simple question, this has thousands of meanings to tell. Ask about how an employee seeks to manage his own team and how the idea of management looks for them.
  • Observe: Skills, traits, and core competencies. Assess an employee’s work traits and how they handle certain conflicts.


  • Evaluate: How they view company culture and future direction. As a future manager, the employee must put the company’s future in a greater light and must have a clear path in doing so.


  • Look: Beyond their work experience. Don’t just rely on an employee’s related working experience. See their talents and hobbies as well, as you’ll find managerial qualities on how they spend their free time.


  • Take note: Red flags. Red flags are red flags. If a certain employee shows traits that are unbecoming for a manager, reconsider the promotion.


  • Guide: Opportunities for development. Management is not an easy position. Provide training and guidance for prospective managers to ensure they can be the best person for the job.

Some employees are developed to manage, while some employees simply evolve to become a manager in their own right and manner. There is always great talent among the ranks of your company.

If you have an employee who showcases the qualities and tasks of a manager, now’s the perfect time to consider them for a promotion before it gets too late.

Recognize your manager-ready employees, or else, watch as a fleeting moment for company success pass you by.



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Ron Cullimore