Vital tips every first-time manager should know
Becoming a manager for the first time is a momentous point in anyone’s career. No doubt, the rise to this position has been preceded by hard work, passion for business and a clear display of optimal people skills. Here are a few tips for when you’re a first-time manager; because it’s always helpful to remember sage advice.
Grow into the position
When you’re starting out as a new manager in an already formed business, it’s only natural to want to make your mark and share your ideas and strategies with the team. However, patience is key in this case – you don’t want to be in a rush to overhaul a business you’ve just entered. As new management, your wisest choice is to spend your first few months being an observer; someone who can listen and learn. As you do this, write down what you think is and isn’t working so that you can begin to take small steps to improve the business and its employees. Introducing gradual change will reap far better rewards than if you start to implement all your ideas at once.
Meet your new employees individually
It’s imperative that you don’t judge anyone beforehand and give every employee a clean slate. Your employees will most likely be on their best behaviour in the beginning, as they want to be seen by new management as a benefit to the business. During your first month, give them plenty of one-on-one time so that you can get to know their roles, how they work and their aspirations. Thereafter, watch them in action to see who holds up to their initial appearances.
Be flexible with your management style
On the management spectrum, there are two ends. One is extreme: where a command is given and followed, and on the other is coaching: where the manager explains the objectives and helps create the process to complete the task. In between, you will find various types of management. When you meet your team, you will need to get to know them first (as mentioned earlier) and, once you’re familiar with their working styles, you can find a happy medium between your directing style and their working processes. Take notice of the team as individuals and note that you can change and choose your management style based on the task at hand; just remember that a one-size-fits-all approach is counterproductive.
Be the model employee
Even though you’re the manager now, you still need to be a shining example of what a good employee is. As a manager you’re under the spotlight, not just from your employees but by everyone else in the business. Some important things to cultivate:
- Meeting deadlines
- Treating everyone with respect
- Keeping personal matters and opinions private
- Sticking to your word.
The last point is imperative to being a good manager. While your word may not be accepted by everyone, all the time, it’s key to being a leader and shows stability and fairness.
Find a mentor
As a first-time manager, you’re going to be faced with many issues and situations that you couldn’t have prepared for enough in theory. There will be plenty of everyday decisions that need to be made, but will you make the right one? Luckily, there are people who have been in your exact position before who can help you along, so it’s important that you find a mentor. A mentor is someone you can discuss hard decisions and difficult situations with in confidence. This person can either be in the office or outside of it, the decision is yours.
As a first-time manager, you have been recognised as someone with the right leadership qualities to get the job done – so keep calm and trust your instincts. Remember to focus on the goals at hand and let your team determine how to help you get it done.
Featured image: Unsplash