Interim managers are technical and management experts who come to companies on a temporary basis to take on previously defined tasks. Very often these are complex projects – temporary managers are used for special rather than routine tasks. Although the interim managers take care of these tasks on their own responsibility, there are a number of things that companies can do to ensure that a mandate is not simply satisfactory, but inspiring.
The right choice
This starts with the right selection of the interim manager. It doesn’t matter whether you have the mediation carried out by a provider or are looking for the perfect candidate yourself: Make sure that he not only has the right knowledge, skills and experience, but also fits the corporate culture (“cultural fit”).
Keep as much of the important information ready as possible. Starting with organizational charts, company figures, etc., it also makes sense to define in advance why the need arose at all. When it comes to change situations, try to find out where it might be. Such information accelerates the interim manager’s entry into the company and ensures that he can achieve results quickly.
Informing the workforce
Communicate to the staff in advance that the manager will be coming on board for a certain period of time and inform them about his duties. If reservations are expressed, it is a good idea for the interim manager to be aware of them. In this way, the already very short onboarding phase can be shortened even further.
Define your goals and non-goals
Make it as clear as possible which goals the interim manager should achieve. Explicit non-objectives can also play a role, so that no competencies get in each other’s way in the course of the mandate.
Communicate openly. An interim manager is always a person of trust – and is used to going straight to the heart of the matter. Tell him the situation bluntly. He will thank you for it by preparing himself better for what is to come.
Be prepared for change
If you expect a temporary manager to achieve results that have never been achieved before, be prepared that he or she will resort to new approaches for this. Interim managers bring in the latest know-how – for best results it is often advisable to leave the beaten track.
Interim managers usually produce their first results very quickly. They also have the right knowledge for complex challenges and are masters of implementation. Regular discussions and prompt feedback ensure that you are always up to date and informed about all steps.
Show your staff that you stand behind the interim manager and his decisions.
For the best results, everyone pulls together. Also communicate to the staff that you stand behind the fresh ideas and support the corresponding decisions. An interim manager would not do anything that is not aimed at explicitly defined results. Demonstrate that the goals you have set are beneficial to all.