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5 tips for successful new managers

Think back to when you were first promoted to a management role. How did you feel? What did you struggle with first? When it comes to new challenges, few people excel right from the start.

For HR, learning and development teams, this is a critical point. While leaving an individual to come up with their own solution can sometimes bring benefits, the effect of an untrained, rookie manager on the rest of the team can have far reaching consequences. If problems persist, apart from a demotivated manager you could be facing a talent drain as others decide to leave.

Here are our top five tips for supporting new managers to avoid some of the common pitfalls:

Think like a leader

One of the biggest challenges facing someone new to the role is lack of confidence. And when you are a manager, the quality of your team’s output reflects your performance. If a team has failed, so has the leader.

New managers are asked to think beyond their job description, adopting a new mindset that is about inspiring and leading their team. Empowered by their own superiors to lead, the first step is to give themselves permission to move out of their comfort zone and take on the mantel.

In our course thinking as a manager, participants learn ways to help shift their mindset for a new role more easily. Central to this transition is the need to create time out of the working day to lead the team.

Manage friends fairly

When an employee makes the transition to manager, this can create tension among colleagues who may also have become their friends. While the new manager may be excited, others around them may be experiencing a mixture of emotions – happiness, jealousy, anger or worry.

It is crucial that new managers keep their approach consistent, whether dealing with friends or the team as a whole, to avoid the dangers of favouritism. If managed poorly, these working relationships can create significant conflict – which the CBI estimates can cost UK business £33 billion per year in lost leadership time and days off work.

Our course provides techniques for earning respect and making changes to relationships – without breaking valued friendships.

Avoid micro-managing

We can all recall times when we’ve been micro-managed. Managers who constantly watch over and control their employees’ work leave them feeling both untrusted and disrespected.

The process of micro-managing can also lead to some becoming dependent on their manager’s close supervision, which can be disastrous if the manager’s own workload gets too much, or they are away from the office.

Over time this management style impacts productivity, engagement and satisfaction in the workplace. In the end, good team members will seek out greater opportunities elsewhere, where they feel respected and trusted to carry out their tasks without being under a microscope.

When getting to grips with the team, new managers need practical skills to understand employees, recognise individual styles and strengths, and lead their team.

Delegate to elevate

One of the key responsibilities of a manager is to delegate. The polar opposite of micro-managing, delegation gives both manager and team the chance to develop new skills, and be more engaged with the variety of work they do.

So, why do managers find it hard to delegate?

Often, this is due to a lack of trust and a fear of failure on the part of the manager. Nervous managers think they can get the job done quicker and to a better standard if they just do it themselves. Or they may feel guilty for giving their teams more work.

Our tip for effective delegation is to use the framework PLACE.

  1. PLACE the TASK
  2. PLACE your TRUST
  3. PLACE the RESPONSIBILITY
  4. PLACE the AUTHORITY

Our delegation course helps managers delegate to elevate themselves out of their day-job, develop their role as a leader and move on to greater business challenges.

Keep learning

It’s a big shift to be promoted into a new role – not least receiving external recognition for one’s efforts and talents as an employee – and this step is the start of a new journey as a leader. The best businesses don’t tread water, but consistently adapt and evolve, and the best leaders do this too.

How can you constantly develop your skills to deal with a workforce that comprises the largest number of different generations in working history, huge levels of uncertainty and a rapidly evolving technological landscape?

Courses that are appropriate to further develop management skills include emotional intelligence and conscious leadership.

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