After years of hard work, long hours, and proving yourself, congratulations: You’re a manager!
Here are seven tips for new managers to make the transition into their bigger role a little easier:
Talk about it.
If you’re now leading a team on which you used to be a member, it might feel a little strange. There’s been a shift in dynamics. People who have been close work friends and confidants might now answer to you, instead of sitting with you. The best thing to do, first and foremost, is address the change in structure. There’s a fine line to walk between manager and friend, and it might be difficult to navigate at first, but you will need to make some adjustments to remind your former peers that you’re now in a supervisory role. Be kind but firm about it and they’ll learn to respect you.
Start scheduling one-on-one meetings.
To start your management position in a positive way, set up individual meetings with your new team. If you were promoted from within, you might be aware of what big projects are in process, but you might not know everyone’s specific role and responsibility. Take a few minutes and check in with your team to see what they’re working on and see how you can help them. It’s a learning opportunity for both of you.
Find a mentor.
You’re new in this job. No matter how long you’ve worked with the company, you’re the newest person in this position. Find someone you can trust and learn from, someone you admire, maybe someone who was recently promoted to manager and has had a little time to adjust. That person can help you understand the changes you’ll need to make and how to conduct yourself in a way that will be positive for yourself and your team. Mentors are great for offering advice and perspective and a little pep talk when needed.
Ask for, and offer, feedback on a regular basis.
It’s very easy to fall into a rut when it comes to feedback, waiting until it’s time for annual performance reviews. While that might seem like the best time, consider instead offering feedback on a more regular, consistent basis. This will allow you the opportunity to establish a rapport with your team in addition to setting expectations for how you’re hoping your team will respond to challenges and your leadership. And while you’re providing feedback to your team, ask for it too. It’s a learning experience for everyone and you might be making some changes that are hard to understand or buy into for your team.
Learn how to delegate.
As you meet with your team and learn who has which projects on their to-do list and who might have more responsibilities than others, determine whether assignments need to be shifted. In time, you’ll have a better sense of who can be your go-to person in a pinch and who’s better to tap for longer-term projects. Remember, too, that you’ll have experts on your team with certain talents: When your own plate gets overfilled, learn how to delegate tasks across your team. It’s a great way to build trust and show confidence in your team and it helps you develop management skills as well.
Learn how to address conflict.
Not every perceived slight between coworkers is a conflict waiting to explode. But some differences of opinion or disagreements between members of your team might require your attention and intervention. You might be a conflict-averse person, wanting to let people work things out for themselves and hoping that you won’t need to interfere, but there will come a time and a situation when you’ll need to step up and step in to sort things out. Learn how to be a mediator as well as a mentor, hearing all involved parties and creating fair and equitable solutions to problems as they arise. Most importantly: Learn to be consistent in how you address issues so that people don’t feel as though there are favorites (or less-liked people) on the team.
Learn to ask for help.
Remember that you’re new here. This is a new job! You’ve never been a manager before. Things are bound to get stressful and maybe a little messy. You might make mistakes. When that happens, know that it’s ok to ask for help and guidance. Just like when you were a brand new employee, you’re not expected to know everything right away. There will be a learning curve. The important thing is that you keep moving in the right direction.
You’ll have new responsibilities as a manager as well as some unexpected challenges, but being selected as a leader means your company has trust and faith in you and your ability to lead. Congratulations!
If you’re looking for other advice on management, contact Debbie’s Staffing. We’re ready to help you learn the ropes of management and, when the time comes, we can help you find great people to add to your team! Let Debbie’s Staffing help you delegate the responsibilities of finding new employees.