Oops…Hang On, I’m the Manager Now! – 5 To Dos for First Time Managers

June 28, 2017 © Copyright Glomacs

First time managerSo you’ve been newly promoted to being a Manager – Congratulations!  Now after all the excitement at your promotion has died down you are probably realising that being a great manager doesn’t happen automatically – if only that were the case!

Often people are promoted based on how well they did their job but good performers don’t necessarily make good managers.  Being a manager means you will need to focus on people and not just on tasks. New managers must learn how to lead others, to win trust and respect, to motivate, and to strike the right balance between delegation and control.

Being a manager requires a whole new mindset and now is the time to learn it, so you can start as you mean to go on.  The following are just a few tips that will help you become a well-respected and effective manager.

1.  Make the transition successfully: up to now you may have been ‘one of the gang’ of a team of peers and now you are perhaps managing them.  Your ‘team’ need to make a transition too and may treat you differently for a while.  Former peers may seem less at ease and a bit more guarded around you.  Handle this transition period tactfully and sensitively and it will make your life as manager much easier.  Also you will likely be measured against your predecessor so take your time to understand the job fully before making changes.  Don’t make changes just for the sake of it or to show people who’s in charge here now! 

2.  Become a skilled and effective communicator: employ the mantra, “listen and learn”.  Active listening is one of the most valuable qualities to use throughout your role as a manager.  That goes for communicating with your superiors as well as with those who report to you.  No matter how lovely you think your speaking voice is or how clever an orator you may think you are, resist the temptation to talk at  Instead use these valuable first few weeks to get to know people.  Even if you have worked with people before as a peer don’t assume that you know them well.  As a manager you will have a different role in their lives.  Take the time to sit with people individually and find out what matters to them, find out what their ambitions are.  One of your functions as a manager will be to help people develop as well as to motivate them to perform well.

3.  Build motivated and effective teams:  the ability to create, motivate and maintain a high performing team is a very important skill for any manager, let alone a new one.  Building a good team takes patience, planning, clear goal setting and the discipline and willingness to not try and do everything straight away.  Building trust is essential and that takes time and a commitment on the part of the manager to be open and transparent. 

4.  Understand your personal leadership style: find out what your dominant leadership style is.  This information is a good place to start in understanding what kind of leader you are.  Different situations are likely to require you to adopt leadership approaches that you may not be as comfortable with.  However, once you know your dominant style you can work on developing and extending your style which is an important next step in evolving as a leader. –

5.  Implement excellent performance management techniques: setting fair, clear SMART targets will enable your staff to perform well, as will regular one-to-one meetings to review and discuss workloads, deadlines, and to generally find out how things are going.  Agreeing a performance improvement plan is an excellent tool to give struggling employees the opportunity to succeed.  Using a coaching and mentoring approach can also help ensure that performance is monitored and maintained.   

Start off with the above 5 strategies and build on them and you will do very well as a new manager.  Get on a training course, read self help books, invest in your development and the sky is the limit!  Good luck!

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