The New Manager’s Guide to Success

Taking on a managerial position is an exciting prospect, but it can also be a little scary if it’s your first time doing so. Transitioning from team member to team leader means undertaking a mental and functional shift, and it may take some time to truly sink into your new role. However, don’t fret! Brought to you by the award-winning employee recognition software provider Mo, this article has been created to assist new managers in making a smooth transition, setting themselves up for a successful and long-standing leadership career.

Step Into Your New Shoes With Confidence

Above all else, it’s important that you take on your new position with positive confidence. Recognise that your qualifications and potential led to your selection for this role – you were picked for the job because your company has faith in you. Your team will feel more certain in your ability and inspired by your success when they see you walk into the office with positive energy and confidence. Just be careful to avoid overconfidence, which could be misinterpreted as arrogance.

Don’t Stop Learning

Just because you’re in charge, that doesn’t mean you know everything. In fact, you’re more likely to be in a position where a whole host of new skills are waiting to be mastered – which is cause for excitement for those who love self-development! Learn as much as you can about your new position, the team you’ll be leading, and the obstacles you may expect to encounter. This could mean consulting with more seasoned managers, going through appropriate books and articles, or even enrolling in a class. Being a manager of a team is a multi-faceted role, and there are a number of new responsibilities you will need to undertake, so it’s important to take the time to master them!

Establish Genuine Relationships

Establishing strong bonds with your team members is key to your success as a team leader. Learn the ins and outs of every team member’s personality, goals, dreams, and worries. Find ways to connect with them as individuals with lives outside of the workplace. Whether they enjoy watching sports, playing video games, cooking or going on countryside hikes, your team all have lives beyond work, and they will appreciate you taking an interest in this. This will help them to feel more valued as an individual, and not just a “cog” in the machine, and your ability to encourage and inspire your team will increase as your level of trust and relationship with them rises.

Keep In Constant And Clear Contact

Good management rests on strong communication. You must be clear with your objectives, aims, and feedback. Having check-ins and meetings with your team on a regular basis – especially when you first start in your position – allows everyone to acclimatise to the new management structure and stay on the same page. It’s also a great opportunity to open the floor for productive communications about how your team members see the future of their roles, and how you can help them to achieve their goals.

Make Objectives And Expectations Crystal Clear

Put your team’s needs first by outlining and sharing your early expectations. Your team’s efforts will be better aligned and you’ll have a better idea of how far down the path to success you are with this clarity. Make sure these targets are proportional to the effort put in, that they’re measurable and in line with the overall corporate strategy.

Another key aspect of communication in objectives is accountability. As much as you want your team to be comfortable, you will still need to produce results! Having shared visibility of goals and targets across your team can help improve their focus, with everyone working towards set targets. Additionally, having everyone able to see progress will foster a culture of support; should one of your team start to fall behind, it will be easy to spot and your team will be more likely to offer their help to meet targets.

Make Smart Delegations

It can be easy to fall into the trap of remembering the mantra “if you want something done right, do it yourself”, but any good manager needs to learn how to allocate tasks efficiently. Alongside facilitating better time management on your part, it also gives your team members more agency by providing them with room to learn and advance. Check that the responsibilities you give out to team members are in line with their abilities and goals for the future.

Give Useful, Actionable Feedback

Recognising and acting upon constructive criticism is an effective means of personal development. It is important to regularly deliver your team members feedback that is both accurate and helpful. Express yourself clearly, and if you must, it’s best to criticise the action rather than the individual and offer constructive, actionable feedback at all times.

In the same breath, it’s important that you learn to take criticism well. Understand that some of your team members may not be accustomed to giving feedback in a constructive manner, so it’s important not to take anything personally and try to read between the lines of any negative feedback.

Lastly, if your team is predominantly remote in nature, don’t fall into bad habits of neglecting your team communications. Feedback, assessments and tidbits of advice are far easier to dish out in a more personal office space, but it can be easy to drop the ball with this if your team isn’t physically with you. Schedule regular catch-ups with your remote workers so that everyone still feels like they’re part of a team. Remote working can be isolating for some, so they’ll appreciate feeling like they have your support!

Use Competence When Dealing With Conflict

In every group, disagreements will arise. Face it head-on and fairly as it comes up. Find out what everyone is saying, figure out what’s causing it, and then work together to fix it. When handled properly, conflict can actually work to bring a team closer together and foster trust.

Make A Call While Keeping An Open Mind

You, as a manager, will have to decide things that have an impact on your staff and their initiatives. Constantly keeping an open mind is just as vital as being decisive. Be open to new ideas and information, and be ready to reevaluate your choices. You may need to put your personal feelings aside when working with your team, and it’s important that you’re able to separate professional decisions and actions from personal ones.

Create A Positive Space And Set A Good Example

The group will follow your lead when it comes to demeanour and conduct, so it’s important to carry yourself in the way you want your team to. Keep working towards the goal of making the workplace a welcoming and supportive place where everyone can thrive. Inspire teamwork and originality by praising efforts and commemorating major achievements.

Keep in mind that your team will be observing you closely, not just as you start your role, but moving forward into the future as well. Show the team the kind of character you hope to see from them by acting with the honesty, resilience, commitment, and empathy you expect from them. Of the most effective methods to encourage and inspire your team is to lead by example.

Make Personal Development A Top Priority

Last but not least, make sure you plan for your own personal development and improvement. Discover where you can make improvements based on the comments others have made about your work, and then create some goals for yourself. Successful managers never stop learning and growing.

Going from an entry-level position to a managerial one is a huge step. Despite the challenges, it’s a fantastic opportunity to make a great influence on your team and company. The best way to ensure both your success, and that of your team, is to fully embrace your new role, establish solid relationships, communicate clearly, and lead by example.

Always keep in mind that becoming a good manager is not something you will learn overnight. Your initial steps as a new manager are simply the beginning of a successful leadership career if you remain devoted to learning, growing, and improving. Best of luck!