After you get a promotion into a manager role or move into one after a hiring process, you’re often overwhelmed by a range of emotions. While excitement at the prospect of this new position comes to mind, so does an innate fear of overstepping and a general uneasiness about whether you’ll be accepted in this new role.
Considering that 85% of new managers state that they received absolutely no training for their new role, and 59% feel like they’re not supported as a manager, it can be incredibly difficult to get started in this field.
To help you thrive as a new manager, we’ve outlined three tips for success that will push you toward performing as well as possible. From the best practices to small ways you can help build relationships with your team, we’ll cover everything you need to know.
Have a development plan
As a manager, much of your day-to-day focus may be on helping your team perform as well as possible. While this is certainly important, don’t forget that a core part of your own role is ensuring that you continue to advance in terms of your own professional development. When starting as a manager, one of the most significant things you can do during your first week on the job is to create a development plan for yourself, and for the department as a whole.
Split into two categories, team-wide and personal, you’ll have two plans to follow throughout the first few months in your new position. In terms of personal goals, you can make 30-60-90 day goals that reflect you’re learning certain skills, getting to know certain people, or hitting particular growth targets.
When it comes to team-wide goals, you’ll be able to focus on helping the team to grow. This could include hitting particular sales or development targets, smashing through key performance indicators that are tied to your department, or simply completing certain projects.
By creating these guidelines for your first few months, you’ll be able to always fall back on your targets whenever you don’t feel like you know what you’re doing. If you’re feeling a little lost, simply look toward your goals and then work backward. Ask yourself how you will end up at your goal, then put action items on your agenda that will help you move toward that goal.
Without a development plan, progressing in your new role as a manager will be significantly more difficult.
Schedule regular 1-1s with your team
Team communication is one of the most important, yet overlooked aspects of being a manager. While this job is intensely focused on the development and managerial tasks, there is also a huge amount of communication and relationship-building at the center of your role. While many of your tasks will be undertaken by yourself, actively managing and directing your team is essential.
With this, you need to build a strong understanding of the people in your team, their strengths, weaknesses, and how they work. One of the best ways of getting this information is to regularly schedule 1-1 meetings with your team. These meetings provide short, yet powerful, sessions where you can discuss your team’s workload, and how stressed someone is feeling, and guide them toward performing better at work.
Treat these 1-1s as a social session, where you’ll find out more about your employees while also learning about how they work. Over time, these sessions will allow you to create a healthier working atmosphere, while also ensuring that all of your team feel valued, heard, and understood at work.
At the very least, try and schedule a 1-1 every two weeks, if not every single week. These can be short meetings, taking 10-15 minutes at max.
Create team-building activities
Alongside creating a strong 1-1 relationship with members of your team, you should also endeavor to make sure all of your team are connecting and getting on. Teams perform significantly better when they enjoy working with each other, meaning that any attempt to foster these relationships is a great idea.
Considering that we now live in an era of remote work, getting the team together for a drink after work may not be an option for you. With this option out of the window, we suggest that you turn to the internet for a group activity. These activities should be low-entry, without needing your teams to make much effort to get involved.
One of the best forms of these communal activities is playing an online game like Wordle each morning. As each game only takes a few minutes, it doesn’t eat into your working time, while also providing a healthy level of competition between employees. If you want to get ahead, so you can give people clues throughout the day, you could use a tool like Unscrambled Words to help you get the answer ahead of time.
These activities will help build up social communication that’s not directly related to work, fostering a better working environment for your team.
Establishing yourself as a new manager can be a difficult task. Alongside getting up to speed with the day-to-day operations of your department and the additional roles you now have to take on, you’ll also have the uphill battle of getting into the good books of every member of your team. As a manager is only as strong as the team that supports them, it’s important to prioritize relationship-building early on in your journey as a manager.
By taking these three tips on board, you’ll be in a much stronger position as a new manager, having a range of tools and strategies that you can fall back on. Over time, you’ll develop a strong standing with your team, as well as create a plan that you can work toward over your first few months as a manager.
Best of luck in your new role!