If you’ve just been promoted to manager of a business, either internally or externally, congratulations! You’ve just `taken a huge step up the career ladder, and you should take a moment to enjoy the view from the top and reflect on such a worthwhile achievement.
Before you get stuck in your duties, you should equip yourself with as much knowledge and guidance as possible. You’ve made it this far, so why not ensure you have everything you need to be the best possible manager from the get-go?
Here, with some insights from Dominic Fitch, Head of Creative Change at Impact International, we explore seven tips to ensure you enjoy success in this new role.
Have you ever heard the saying, “employees don’t leave companies, they leave managers”? Your first duty as a manager should be getting to know your employees and putting their needs first. Even if you’re already familiar with your team and have perhaps known them for years, becoming their manager can significantly change your relationship.
A recent poll discovered that more than two in five British employees have quit a job because of a bad manager, citing respecting and listening to staff and treating people well as the most important attributes of a good boss. Keep this firmly in mind as you navigate your new responsibilities as a manager; a business is nothing without its employees!
As a manager, you’re bound to have a lot of knowledge, but that doesn’t mean you know everything. You should understand that you’ll never stop learning – about your business, industry, competitors – and therefore, you should always be open to absorbing new information.
In a similar way, you should encourage your employees to push themselves and expand their skill set by getting involved in different training courses and seminars. Not only should this increase your chances of being a great new manager, but it will also aid team development.
In this new, important position, you may feel obligated to try and tackle everything at once to make the best impression on your superiors and employees. Here’s some helpful advice: Don’t bother! Take a step back, take a deep breath, and look at your tasks and responsibilities with the aim of prioritising. You are not a superhero, and nobody expects you to be.
Keep in mind that there’s a difference between a task that’s ‘urgent’ and a task that’s ‘important’; start by listing your tasks in order of importance and address them one by one, delegating duties across your team where necessary. If you try to do everything at once, you will likely burn yourself (and your employees) out, which doesn’t deliver the long-term, sustainable results that a business needs to be successful.
The type of manager you should be to your employees is not a ‘one size fits all’ process, and a good, successful manager recognises that different people need different approaches. While your beliefs, values, and overall managerial style shouldn’t change from person to person (that would be unfair), you should be alert to factors such as language barriers and age groups.
For example, if a staff member doesn’t speak the best English, you should keep your vocabulary simple and speak clearly and slowly. In a similar way, an employee that’s older than you might not respond well to being ‘told’ what to do as opposed to ‘asked’, so it would be courteous (and effective) here to adjust the way you assign responsibilities.
Nobody likes a hypocrite, especially when that hypocrite in question is supposed to be managing a workforce. To keep employee morale, productivity, and loyalty at a high level, you should be everything you expect your staff to be. How can you discipline a team member for failing to keep a promise when you have five outstanding pledges to action?
Lead by example and watch how your new team flourishes under your command. By demonstrating your own devotion, reliability, and hard work, you’ll build trust with your staff which should motivate them to be the best version of themselves, too.
Not only does building relationships with your staff, clients, and stakeholders drive better results for the business, but it also creates a more enjoyable working environment for everyone involved. In order to strengthen your relationships with those around you, you need to be genuine, make sure you’re really listening instead of just hearing, and focus on truly understanding as opposed to just responding.
Arranging regular one-to-one interactions is just as important as team-building exercises and could help you achieve stronger relationships with each individual at a faster rate. These one-to-one interactions could look like informal catch-ups over coffee or structured meetings in your office, whatever works for you and that specific employee.
“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.
As a new manager, you probably have all these exciting ideas to improve the business and increase employee satisfaction, but how do you intend to bring these ideas to fruition? To be successful in your new role, you need to have a set of (realistic) goals with a clear plan on how to reach each one. Doing this will ensure that you’re constantly on track with meeting your objectives.
Don’t be afraid to consult others before launching into a new process; your decisions as a manager impact the wider team, not just yourself. Plus, getting opinions and assistance from your employees should fill them with a sense of importance and help them feel valued, which in turn could help strengthen your relationship with them.
This is your time to shine! You’ve worked incredibly hard to reach this milestone, so give yourself a chance to take it all in. Becoming a manager can be a little daunting, especially if you’re entering a business externally, but clearly, someone thinks you’re worth it, so take that as a positive.
Be open to the advice and guidance other people are willing to give you as it’ll only help increase your chances of success and, in turn, really enjoy your role. We wish you the very best of luck in this new journey.