The transition from a rank-and-file worker to a new manager can sometimes be tricky. Managers have more responsibilities and greater expectations. Thus, new managers are naturally filled with both excitement and anxiety. They have more authority to achieve personal and organizational goals, but they also must get their team’s buy-in for their vision. In this article, we’ll share the top 3 things to do as a new manager. First, let’s talk about some of the challenges new managers face.
Challenges Faced By New Managers
The challenges faced by a new manager are varied. They can range from the pace of technological change in the industry to insubordinate employees to faulty communication. Some are naturally adept at handling this transition. But for the rest of us, a little bit of new manager training goes a long way.
At the top of the new-manager checklist is the ability to coordinate the works of different team members to achieve common goals. This is, however, easier said than done. Humans are complex beings, differing in temperament, beliefs, and motivations. Thus, conflicts and disagreements are bound to occur. One of the roles that managers play is to help employees resolve conflict with minimal loss of morale.
Right from his/her first meeting with the staff, the new manager should strive to understand the team members and their individual personalities. This will enable her to keep her managerial style flexible and results-oriented. Without further ado, let’s dive into these 3 new-manager tips that are universally applicable across industries and age groups!
New Manager Tips
Understand The Levels of Leadership
John Maxwell, well-known author and leadership coach, asserts that there are 5 levels of leadership. The 5 level of leadership are:
Level 1: Position
People follow because they have to.
Level 2: Permission
People follow because they want to.
Level 3: Production
People follow because of what you have done for the organization.
Level 4: People Development
People follow because of what you have done for them personally.
Level 5: Pinnacle
People follow because of who you are and what you represent.
As shown above, positional leadership is the lowest level of leadership. It’s okay to start there, but a new manager should exercise caution to ensure he doesn’t stay stuck at the level of positional leadership. Your goal as a new manager is to move up the pyramid over time. As you grow in your ability to lead and manage people, you should get promoted commensurate to your experience and talent.
At the pinnacle, leadership can be best summed up in the French writer Antoine de Saint’s words: “If you wish to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide work and give orders. Instead teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.”
Understand What Motivates Each Of Your Employees
If there is one new-manager tip that is absolutely essential, it’s this: good managers understand that each employee needs to be coached differently. Despite their limitations, different personality tests like Myers Briggs, DISC, etc., have shown how fundamentally different employees are in their motivations and personality traits. A one-size-fits-all approach is bound to fail. To ensure teams are motivated sustainably, a manager has to integrate the unique vision and mission of each team member into the firm’s larger vision.
Understand From Your Employees Perspective, Where The Pain Points Are – And Do Something About Them
No team is perfect. There is often either a skill or a resource mismatch. If left unattended for long, these issues can cause inefficiencies. Therefore, in training new managers, these pain-points have to be located and addressed as quickly as possible. Some issues are obvious like salaries, bonuses, limited growth opportunities, etc. But there are many deeper issues that a manager cannot understand through logical analysis. An apathetic manager might overlook these and then find it difficult to raise the team’s morale despite ‘doing everything he/she can.’
Thus, one of the important things new managers must do is develop deep empathy in order to look at things from the perspective of the employee. This will not only help resolve any issues quickly, but also boost employee satisfaction.
New Manager Training – Focus on Communication
Communication is the sine qua non of every successful leader. A new manager must encourage honest and open communication within the team. The stronger the feedback loops, the greater is the work satisfaction. Feedback loops can occur within both formal and informal channels. While the former allows for more durable reviews, the informal ones create a long-lasting bond among team members.
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Right from the first meeting with the staff, the new manager should go about strengthening communication channels. This is because transparent communication allows disagreements to emerge to the surface. If identified early on, a manager can nip them in the bud. Without an effective communication strategy, disagreements might snowball into harmful conflicts. In sum, new managers should prioritize clear and open communication within their team.
While it might seem that the task ahead for new managers is a daunting one, it is also full of opportunity. It has been said that a manager is a ‘bridging individual’ i.e., one who bridges the gap between contending interests to move teams in a positive direction. What differentiates effective managers from others is their ability to engage with diverse personalities, communicate with clarity, and remain open to compromise. If you need manager training for yourself or your organization, click here! We offer manager training to companies within the F1000, with instructor-led training and digital resources for new managers.
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