When you find yourself as a manager for the first time, it’s not uncommon to experience a few nerves. If you’ve risen up the ranks of the same company you could now be managing colleagues who used to be your peers. And if you’ve ventured to pastures new, you’ll be managing a completely new team of people about whom you know nothing. Both scenarios bring potential problems and opportunities.
As a new manager, you want to stamp your authority whilst also encouraging an engaged and communicative team dynamic from top to bottom. Here are six tips that will help you to achieve your objectives as a first-time manager:
You can only come to know the best ways in which to manage a team when you are familiar with each member of said team. This means brushing up on their personnel files and meeting with everyone individually. That way you can learn about their personal objectives and personalities. This will help you to develop an appropriate management style, recognizing how best to praise, reward and support your team.
Only with a thorough understanding of your company can you manage your team to meet its overarching objectives. Sit down with your own seniors to ask them questions about company operations and goals. You’ll also need to brush up on some other areas of the business that won’t have required your attention until now. Do you understand basic HR protocols? Who do you go to if you need to escalate an issue? Find answers to any questions so you can be confident of operating within company guidelines.
As a worker, you focused on the task at hand and worked to achieve the targets set by your manager. Now that you’re the manager you need to set those targets and support your team in meeting them. This means you need to learn to delegate effectively and not try to do all of the work yourself. However, you can’t stay holed up in your own office either. You need to have a clear understanding of what is happening on the ground in order to make effective decisions.
Those days of moaning about your boss by the water cooler are over. You need to set a good example for your employees. That means behaving with professionalism at all times. It also means, if you’ve been promoted from within the company, that business relationships and objectives come first. You can’t show favoritism to your ex-teammate who also happens to be your really good friend without damaging team morale.
Whilst it may be tempting to step into a management role and make lots of new changes, avoid reinventing the wheel until you’re a good month into the job. Only with time and patience can you truly see and understand where things are going right and where things could be improved within your team. Listen, watch and learn before instigating any big changes.
A good manager never stops learning. You should find out what training resources your company has in-house, ask to attend relevant training sessions and do whatever reading you can to develop your abilities in a management role. In the process, you’ll discover management strategies, learn about management styles and improve your skills in any weak areas such as decision-making, communication or team motivation.
Starting out as a manager is likely to be a little daunting. Rest assured that things can only get easier as you grow in confidence and increase your experience in the role. We hope that these tips will help you in those first days of finding your feet.
Corinne Ledling is a businesswoman who’s very passionate about her job. She’s a Content Manager at Bizstats.co.uk and loves to share career tips and tricks and her work experience.