Everything you need to know as a first time manager
60 percent of new managers underperform—or even fail—in their first two years.
But not you.
You will be different—because you care. Because you are keen to beat those odds and lead your team to unrivalled success.
You already have the knowledge and experience needed for your business.
Now you just need some tips and guidance on how to actually manage a team for the first time…
Make a good first impression
First impressions count.
Dress for the job, hold your head up high and just be yourself.
You’ve earned this position on merit and your experience will be valuable to your team.
Still, you don’t know everything, not yet. So go into this prepared to listen and learn.
Even if you already have lots of great ideas for the team, start out by getting to know the thoughts your new team has. Be fully open to their ideas and opinions. You want everyone to feel invested in moving things forward—and your team members may have some great ideas you hadn’t thought of.
New managers can be so desperate to be liked that they let others walk all over them, or so desperate to be seen as an authoritative figure that they can come across as, well—bossy!
Neither path leads to respect.
Instead, set your expectations out early and lead by example.
If you have been promoted within the same organisation, you may now be managing former colleagues. Talk to them individually about how your working relationship will change. Remember, they will probably be more anxious about the change than you are, but reassuring them about the new boundaries of your relationship will prevent some of those anxieties.
If you respect other people, they'll be more inclined to respect you.
Seek support and guidance from someone senior
Your own boss could likely be a wealth of support to you as you transition into your new role.
If not your own boss, then you might want to seek out someone else with management experience.
Those with experience can offer practical advice to help you negotiate any tricky managerial decisions in the early days.
Seek opportunities for training
Nobody is born a perfect manager.
Management requires you to master a wide range of key skills; from problem solving to delegation to communication.
Some skills may come naturally to you, while others may need refining.
Refining your skills will empower you to lead your team with confidence, and improving your skills sets a fantastic example to your team at the same time.
There are lots of management training programmes available. Your company might be happy to enrol you on one, or you can find courses online for free.
Work out everything you need to cover in your new role and plan things in your diary.
Block in enough time for reporting duties and also include a routine meeting to discuss what is happening with each individual member of your team.
There are always going to be things that ‘crop up’, but if you can structure your time, you’ll avoid overlooking the important things and stay in control.
Being organised will also be reassuring to your team. People like structure and guidance.
You may be excited to introduce changes and make your mark with your new position, though it may be best not to rush into making lots of changes all at once.
Have a consistent schedule for rolling out small changes so that people can adjust more easily to each change in turn. Then you can assess the impact of each change and make adjustments, if required.
Be fair and consistent in how you treat each member of staff too. You may find you adapt your approach slightly, based on individual personalities within your team, however, your overarching rules and expectations should apply to everyone equally.
Before you know it, you’ll have been in your new position for a year or two.
As a manager you will grow and adapt to changing circumstances all the time, and you’ll be able to look back with a sense of pride at all you have achieved.
Good luck in your new role.