Six Steps for Success for First-Time Managers
So, you’ve been tapped by your company to manage a team. Depending on your personality, this can be either a daunting request or an exciting prospect. Managing people can be a very rewarding and valuable skill to add to your resume and experience, but it can also be overwhelming if you don’t know where to start. Positive relationships between employees and their managers increases job satisfaction, employee engagement, and overall retention. We’d like to offer six tips to help you out:
- Get a Mentor. This might seem like an unusual step to take, but having someone who’s “been there, done that” can be an invaluable resource to a new manager. You need to have someone on your side who can help you be successful, as well as serve as a sounding board for new ideas and questions you might have.
- Be a Leader, Not a Dictator. What do we mean by this? Think back on the best boss you ever had. What made you like and respect that person? Likely, it was a combination of teaching and enabling her employees to be their best. This boss was inspiring and led by example, not afraid to get in the trenches and work with her employees. Now, think back on the worst boss you’ve ever had. That person probably ordered his people around, didn’t give them the opportunity to grow, and kept them tightly controlled and under his thumb. The first boss is a leader, the second a dictator. Be a leader.
- Communicate, Communicate, Communicate. This tip is critical. You really can’t communicate to your employees too much; after all, no one likes to work in a vacuum. Your employees must stay informed about expectations, both yours and those of the company overall. Set up weekly or monthly one-on-one touch-bases with each of your staff members. Quarterly, or worse yet yearly, check-ins are too infrequent and can lead to missed opportunities to correct issues or provide motivation.
- Learn How to Delegate. We’ve all had that manager who insists on doing everything herself. This type of management (or lack of) is counterproductive and leads to feelings of resentment among the team… and the manager herself. Your team should support you and be specialists in what they do, leaving you to work on strategy, employee engagement and retention, and talent development. Your team needs to feel a sense of ownership and pride in their roles and in how they support the company’s bottom line.
- Be Honest. Integrity is everything when you’re a manager. Be as transparent as you can be. It’s important that your team is aware of what’s going on with the company, and with you.
- Challenge and Develop Your Team. When employees get bored, they lose interest in the company and become disengaged. You want to ensure the top talent on your team stays with the company, so do what you can to help improve and expand their skill sets.
Good employees are often hard to find and harder to keep. As a new manager, you need to put forth your best effort to ensure your teams support the goals and values of your company. Following these simple tips will put you well on your way to being a great manager and a great employee.