How can clients best utilise interim managers?

There are a number of reasons to hire an interim manager. It may be to fill a gap left by the departure of a high ranking executive; a crisis may need some specialist attention; or they may bring in a required skillset not available within the current team. No matter the reason, it’s important to get the most out of them while they are at the company. This is a two-way relationship and the success of any interim assignment depends not only on the work of the manager but also the actions of the client.

Pick the right candidate

It is vital to select the correct candidate for the task at hand. Interim managers will all be experienced and flexible in their expertise but that does not mean that any candidate will be effective for your company. Each will bring their own methods to tackling a problem and finding the right approach for your company is paramount. It’s important to review their track record and evaluate whether they can bring the right experience to help meet the objective in the most efficient way.  Knowing exactly what is lacking within the company and the attributes required to solve those problems will go a long way to helping pick the right candidate for the right time.

Communicate

Interim managers will never require any kind of bedding-in period, but they do need to be given a full briefing of what is required for the duration of the project. If it is a crisis situation, this will involve a clear and detailed explanation of the problem at hand including any sensitive details. In a change management situation, they will need to be told exactly what the objective is and any key milestones they have to meet. There is no point in employing an interim manager at a high level if they are not given a full overview of the situation. This way, they know exactly what their job involves and can determine the best way to achieve the required goals.

Demand staff cooperation

An outsider coming into the workplace and wielding authority can be intimidating for existing employees. They should be fully briefed before the interim arrives on scene so they know exactly what is happening; this should allow the interim the freedom to do their job without hindrance as staff members are aware of any impact that the project may have on their day-to-day roles. In addition, any staff members that will be working directly with the interim manager should be briefed on the scope of the project and what will be expected of them during the project.

Monitor

While interim managers will require a certain amount of autonomy in order to do their job, that does not mean that there should not be any form of monitoring process during the course of their assignment. Regular updates on the progress of the project and whether key objectives have been met will be vital to ascertain if the project is on track and if they have the resources required. A constant dialogue will be required in order to ensure that everything is going in the right direction

Assess the project

The true value of an interim manager can only truly be seen at the end of project. In order to determine if the project has been successful it is critical to go back to the very beginning and review what the objectives were and how successfully these have been achieved. If there is any discrepancy between the goals and the reality then the cause must be determined. If communication channels have remained open and goals have remained constant, then there is no reason there should not be a successful outcome.

To find out more about our interim management services, call us on 020 7374 5610 or e-mail info@momentagroup.com