Whether used to plug a short-term gap, strengthen a project team, support business turnarounds or inject specific skills and experience at a critical time, interim managers can be a powerful addition to an organisation. Our top tips offer advice on harnessing the huge potential interims have to offer.
1.Provide a clear brief
A good interim manager will always ask for a comprehensive brief and list of objectives before beginning a project. It is important to establish this brief early on to ensure that they understand your business needs from the get-go and stick within these parameters for the duration of the assignment. A good brief will include details of aims and timescales, as well as the type of approach you expect the interim to take. If the team responds better to a soft approach, rather than a firm attitude, make sure this is understood by all parties at the beginning of the process.
Once the interim manager is in place, hold regular reviews to ensure things are on track and that the team is still working towards the original objectives to avoid any costly mistakes later down the line.
2. Get the rest of the team on board
It is vital that your internal team understands what the interim manager is going to be doing and why. Explain to the team that it’s a temporary role that requires a specific skillset and emphasise that they are somebody the team can benefit and learn from. This will ensure that the staff are supportive of the interim manager’s work and don’t feel threatened by their presence.
At the end of the interim manager’s project, ensure that there is a formal and thorough transfer of skills and knowledge to the rest of the team. This will help to deliver value-for-money and mean that the interim’s positive impact on the business lasts longer than the time that they are in the role.
3. Expect them to hit the ground running
Don’t compare the work of an interim manager with that of permanent staff. Interims are used to working on short projects so should be expected to hit the ground running and deliver from day one, ensuring that you get ‘more bang for your buck’. They are usually over-qualified for each assignment, providing an organisation with access to experience and talent which it couldn’t afford on a permanent basis. Businesses that make the most of this will reap the benefits of the incredible short-term value that interims can offer.
4. Relinquish some control
It’s essential that you take on an interim that you have complete faith in and are comfortable handing the reins to. A good interim manager will have the skills and knowledge required to perform without interference or micromanagement.
5. Be prepared for change
Be open to adopting new techniques that are different to those usually practised within your organisation. One of the main benefits of working with an interim manager is the wealth of knowledge that they have gained from a wide variety of businesses during their career. Draw on this and be prepared to try new things.
It is important to prepare the whole workforce for this change and ensure that they are aware that they may need to work differently in order to deliver the results that the interim manager is aiming for.
For more advice on getting the most out of an interim manager, our free report features tips from the UK’s most successful interims on how to ensure you are harnessing the potential that interim executives have to offer.
If you have any other questions, or would like to discuss a position you are currently recruiting for, get in touch with a member of our team today and see how we can help, we’d love to hear from you.