Congratulations! You’re a new manager. And I don’t necessarily mean a first-time manager. Maybe you’ve been promoted, transferred to a new department or changed companies and have a new manager role. Regardless of the reason, starting a new manager role can be both exciting and a little scary. We want to do the right things and make a good first impression.
Chances are you’re already very proficient in the technical aspects of your role. For instance, accounting managers know accounting and marketing managers know marketing. It’s the people side of the business that needs our attention. As a manager, we have to work with people to accomplish our goals. That includes our team, co-workers and our new boss.
Wouldn’t it be fantastic if there were some sort of checklist new managers could follow? One that told us what to do to be successful. Well, here’s that checklist.
1. Communicate honestly and authentically. Leisha Rogers, staffing consultant at Unum, says roles and responsibilities will change, but the key is to “be transparent with employees and discuss expectations.” One area where this could be tough is when an employee is one of the “gang” then becomes a manager of the same work group. Honest and open communication becomes vital.
2. Understand your new role and performance expectations. Becoming a manager involves new responsibilities and working with new people. Tim Reiter, senior staffing consultant at Unum recommends getting a clear understanding of your role so you can set expectations with your staff and co-workers. Speaking of which …
3. Get to know your co-workers. And your new boss. Reiter also suggests setting up one-to-one meetings with your team, co-workers and new boss to establish a “new” working relationship. “If you were promoted or transferred into the role, then be aware those professional relationships are going to — and need to — change.”
4. Manage change slowly. Rogers recommends taking time to learn the lay of the land before creating change. Even when you’ve been hired to create organizational change, you still need time to learn the role, build relationships and get settled in. Getting buy-in is an essential step in managing change and you can’t do it if you’re a stranger to the team.
5. Be prepared to deal with mistakes. Part of professional growth is making mistakes. That’s how people learn. As a new manager, if you make a mistake, that’s okay. Obviously, you don’t want to repeat mistakes, but Rogers recommends when something happens “own up to it, apologize, and ask what you can do to resolve the issue.”
Enjoy the new manager role
One of the best parts about being a new manager is having a fresh set of eyes. Even when you’ve been promoted from within, you’ll see things differently. Take advantage of this time. It won’t last forever. Use your “new manager” status to learn, build relationships and gain perspective. It’ll be valuable as you set goals and get involved in projects.
P.S. This information can be equally valuable to new employees. Consider bookmarking it for future reference.