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New Manager, No Clue? Tips for Success when Supervising Employees for the First Time
How to be a good manager largely depends on taking time to understand each team member.
Congratulations! You’ve just been promoted to a management role for the very first time. You’re excited for the new responsibility, but a little nervous on how to hit the ground running as a “good manager,” right? It has been said that great managers get things done through others. While you might be capable of handling most of your new responsibilities yourself, a manager succeeds by focusing on leading and motivating their team – far above simply getting the work done. Show your team you are there to help them grow and succeed, rather than doing their work for them.
Listen and learn
Any course, book, or article expresses the importance of listening. But successful listening is easier said than done. New managers tend to want to make big changes right away to show that they’re in charge. Before doing that, take time to fully understand the needs and pain points of your organization and your team. Schedule individual meetings with your staff to understand their roles, what they need your help with, and where they see room for improvement. Listening and collecting the input of your team members before making these big decisions will get you acclimated with your team quicker and will serve as a good first impression. This sets the tone for open lines of communication and building trust and rapport with your team. After that, you can make those big changes based on your team’s feedback, knowing that they will support you.
Maintain and prioritize individual meetings
After your initial one-on-ones, don’t stop there! Make a point to meet individually with your team members at least every quarter so you can continue to have an understanding of their individual needs, giving them the opportunity to ask any questions or speak on different concerns. The better understanding you have of your team member’s pain points, the more control you can have in improving their work environment, growing them as individuals and as a team, and growing as a manager yourself. If you spend more time listening and guiding, you’ll get to spend less time doing the actual work because your team members will be doing it for you.
Set a good example
In both good and bad situations, your team will look to you for how to act. As the manager, you are the example that others will follow – so act accordingly. The way you handle stressful situations, the manner in which you prioritize the needs of the organization, and your initial reactions to times of turmoil will be analyzed and replicated. Be mindful of your emotions and reactions, be patient, and try to keep an informed perspective. Leading as such will be mirrored and admired.
Lead with results
While listening and setting an example as a leader will generate trust and get others to stand behind you, being a successful manager ultimately relies on results. And while you might not be able to control the work, you can control what your team members work on by leveraging their individual strengths and weaknesses and positioning them to succeed. Understand the work environment that each team member needs, figure out where his or her passions lie, and allow them to test new responsibilities to generate the best results.
You don’t learn how to be a good manager in 90 days. The things that matter most are the ones related to behavior, transparency, and accountability. People may hear what you say, but they will ultimately remember what you do. Set expectations, lead by example, and care about your team members, and you’ll start your management career on the right foot.
At AHA! Impressions, we are constantly looking to fill positions based on finding the right applicants. If you want more help figuring out how to be a first-time boss, or are simply looking to take that next step in your career by becoming a manager, we are here to help! Read more about how we work today so we can help you find your perfect match.