Stepping into a managerial role is an important milestone for any young professional. It signifies the transition from excelling in an ‘individual contributor’ role, to helping other team-members succeed.
However, new managers often do not anticipate how these new responsibilities will affect their lives. This can make it tough for them to adjust and adapt into the role. However, in this article, we will offer simply tips for new managers to make a great impression. While on the topic, you may also be interested in reading about the signs of bad managers.
The corporate world has changed drastically post the pandemic, and so have the challenges faced by employees. The impact of COVID-19 on mental health at work has been immense, especially on workers who have lost their loved ones.
While stepping into a new role as a manager, accepting the new normal by catering to the holistic needs of your teammates and continuing to be efficient at work is the goal we’re looking to achieve.
Here are 10 tips for new managers to make a swift transition and make a great impression.
1. New role, new skills!
You might have aced your last role, but a new role requires new skills. For instance, you might be a great developer, but as a team leader, other skills become important. Find a mentor to help you identify and develop these skills – e.g., communication skills, or the ability to delegate or lead by example. Understand the scope of your new role and see what new skills you would need to acquire.
2. Be assertive
Moving from an individual contributor to a leader is sure to change certain dynamics. While managers can be amicable with their teams, you also need to be assertive in order to be taken seriously. Balancing friendliness with firmness makes you more effective.
3. Create ownership
As a new manager, you are not just a do-er anymore. It is your job to delegate tasks and make sure things get done. And while you might understand the criticality of a job, your subordinates may not. Hence it becomes necessary to create owners out of employees. This helps the very important feeling of ‘doing it for yourself’ vs ‘doing it for your boss’.
4. Coach and upskill
An important step in creating owners is to coach and upskill your subordinates. Only when you help your teammates see the bigger picture can they give their best. Research by Gallup shows that managers are primarily responsible for their employee’s engagement. So, make sure to help your subordinates upskill and grow. Because if they fail, you fail.
5. Guide, don’t micro-manage
As a manager, you must know the difference between guidance and micro-management. Help your teammates through challenges by exploring different solutions rather than providing a cheat sheet. You do not want to spoon feed solutions, as that can hamper the growth of your teammates.
6. Celebrate small wins
Large goals are only achieved through the efforts of many people working on smaller objectives and tasks that add up to the complete picture. And it is important to help people feel proud of the work they do. Once you have owners, it becomes important to celebrate them. Boost the moral and excitement in the team by celebrating small wins. Create small customs for your team: for instance, for every milestone that your team/teammate achieves, have a team meeting/ring a bell to highlight the achievement.
7. Praise in public, criticise in private
As a new manager, a big part of your job is to give feedback. According to PwC, 60% of employees expressed a need for daily/weekly feedback. Of course, feedback can be positive or negative. And as a leader, you are supposed to communicate both for the betterment of your subordinates and the organisation. While it is human to make mistakes, offer critical feedback in private, while celebrating wins in public.
8. Respect is a two-way street.
Four words make all the difference – ‘What do you think?’ Many new managers commit the fallacy of thinking they are the smartest in a room. Understand that if you think you deserve respect, it will have to be earned and shared too. While leading, make sure to look for other views and opinions. Doing this serves multiple purposes:
a. It helps refine your plan,
b. Creates a space where creativity is welcomed,
c. Makes your teammates feel heard.
9. Embrace Change
Change is the only constant. Embracing change effectively will help you adjust and accommodate better. Implementing change is a process and hence do not expect yourself or your teammates to get aligned immediately. Lead the way and assist your teammates with follow ups and regular progress checks.
10. Be available, be visible
The “scary boss” is a thing of the past. Leaders today are both approachable and visible. Establish healthy boundaries, but be available whenever your team needs you. These new dynamics might seem tricky to navigate, so some trial-and-error may be involved. Connect with your teammates one-on-one and in groups on a regular basis to understand their work style better. Having better context about your teammates will help you lead them better.
While there is no playbook to become a great leader, making constant efforts with these tips for new managers will be of help and make the process smoother. Leading can and should be an extraordinary and rewarding process. And we hope the above tips for great managers help you create the impression you want at the workplace.
Are you an HR or business head, an entrepreneur, or a team leader? If the well-being of your team is a priority, Manah can be your go-to partner. Do check out our services:
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