A Brief Guide for New Managers
Ask any young professional the highlight of her career. Most of them are going to say that they being promoted to a managerial position was definitely one of the key moments in their career. While being promoted to a manager is thrilling, new managers are often susceptible to mismanagement due to their lack of experience.
New managers tend to take up the middle management roles and are crucial to the proper structuring of the organization. An incompetent new manager often tends to make things difficult not only for his immediate team but also for the top management.
To get a good start, here are a few tips for new managers to help them create a great work culture.
The Dress Rehearsal
Getting ready before the actual job starts is one of the most important things new managers need to do to get off the right foot.
You might want to have a talk with your manager and find out how she used to deal with the new pressure. Also, new managers can take courses on how to deal with peers and subordinates. New managers should be well prepared with people management skills before handling the said role. Being prepared not only gives you the required skills to handle the new position but also gives you the much-needed confidence to ace the new role.
Getting to know the Team
One aspect which most new managers ignore is in fact the most important change that happens in the role transition. New managers are actually going to not only manage bigger responsibilities but also handle a team. They are going to have several peers and subordinates in their team which makes the job a bit tricky, especially if the subordinates were her peers before the promotion.
New managers should get to know the team better. It is important to build a great rapport with the team. This creates everyday work a seamless experience. Spending time with the team and getting to know them makes a lot of difference in the smooth transitioning of a role.
Learning to Lead
The most uncomfortable or rather awkward challenge of being a newly promoted manager is having to manage employees who were your good friends before the promotion. Now suddenly the dynamics have changed and it might become a bit tricky to deal with the situation.
Should you order or delegate responsibilities or will they do it on their own? Should you be critical of their performance?
The answer is that you have to do things the hard way and learn how to be a leader even for employees who were once your peers. You need to step up and show professionalism and expect the same from everyone in your team.
You can still be friends outside the workplace, but inside the office, everyone is expected to be professional.
Active listening is a skill every professional need to develop, but it is even more important for managers to have this skill. In the wave of giving orders and delegating tasks, mangers often forget to listen to the feedback of their subordinates and peers.
As a new manager, you need to create a culture of open communication in your team. Conduct frequent one-on-one meetings with your team. It is important for you to consider that during an open conversation with your team, they are coming to you with positive intent. They might be complaining about some issues because they think you can find a solution to that problem.
A good manager always makes sure that after a conversation with their teammates, they leave with a more positive vibe than they came into the conversation. You need to listen carefully to what they are saying and learn to read between the lines. Not every issue or problem will be said outright. The quality of a great manager is always in her ability to read between the lines.
It becomes very easy to get lost in the myriad of expectations from the top management as a new manager. You need to sit down, pause, and look at what exactly is the top management looking for. You need to understand the reason why you were promoted and what expectations they have from you. Once you understand your deliverables, you need to communicate the same with your teammates.
It is equally important to set norms for your team. Norms are nothing but the basic guidelines of the functioning of the team. How strict is your team in regards to discipline? Is the conversation between colleagues professional or casual? Similar kinds of stuff like these.
These norms and expectations should be laid out pretty early to ensure a seamless transition and working experience for both you and your team.
Being a manager is not just about being authoritative but also being a great leader. New managers should always aspire to be the kind of leader and boss they always wanted to have before the promotion.
New managers often have to balance a sandwich act. They have subordinates, they are subordinates and they have equals too. They need to answer to the top management, maintain a healthy relationship with other managers, and effectively lead a team. This often takes a toll on new managers who comes unprepared.
Every new manager has the opportunity to become the kind of manager they always wanted. With a bit of preparation and hard work, new managers have no difficulty in adapting to their new role.