Becoming a manager is a big step. For the first time in your career, people will report to you. It will be up to you to set the tone for your group. It will be up to you to set priorities, delegate tasks and create a team that gets the job done. This can seem daunting at first, but once you know what to expect and develop the necessary skills for new managers, you will be ready for your new role.
The First Week
It is likely you have worked for a number of different managers during your career. Each one had a distinct style that you learned and accommodated; each had different expectations that you met. Now that you are the manager, the people in your group will look to you and follow your lead. That does not mean they will automatically respect you. In fact, it is likely they will size you up to see if you meet their expectations.
Some will look at your track record to see what you bring to the job. Some, especially those who have been at the company longer than you, may be unhappy with your promotion. They may feel that the job should have been offered to one of them. Older workers in your new group may not be happy working for someone younger because they are certain they know more or are more qualified for the work.
You will not know how your group feels about you as manager until you assume your new role. That is why it is important to exercise your authority in a way that garners the respect of the people reporting to you. Just how to do this is one of the many skills for new managers you will need to learn. You can find advice for new managers in a number of places, but nearly every one of them recommends demonstrating competency, consistency and fairness. It is also important to remember that senior management chose you for this position because they have confidence in your ability to manage others. In particular, they have noted your skill set and expect you to manage effectively.
Your Skills at Work
- Good people skills are an absolute necessity for a new manager. Keeping the people who report to you happy and productive is not as easy as it might seem. All of your workers have personal and professional goals that need your support. Finding a way to meet enough needs in both of these categories is important if you are to gain the loyalty of your group. You cannot reward an employee for a job well done if you do not know what motivates that employee. The perfect reward for one employee may mean nothing to another. To reduce turnover and increase morale, rely on your people skills to engage your workers personally and learn which of your skills for new managers can help them the most.
- Strong organizational skills are also a must. You are the one responsible for overseeing the group’s work. You are the one who will decide how to best use their talents. With strong organizational skills, you can keep the big picture in mind and break it down into meaningful responsibilities for each of your team members. You are the one who must determine which step precedes the next in order to complete each project on time. It is imperative that these products build upon one another in a logical fashion if you are to lead your team to shared accomplishments.
- Time management is an equally essential skill for new managers. Your people will deliver their assignments according to the timeline you set. To set an effective timeline, you may need to seek advice from one of your seniors. This person can help you consider due dates and deadlines and spot problems early in the process.
- Quality control is another aspect of your new job that you may not expect. You are not simply the person collecting others’ work; you are the leader responsible for the quality of the entire team’s deliverables. You must be able to work with people to improve quality when necessary, even if that means scrapping something and starting over completely.
As you prepare for your role as a new manager, expect to feel a bit unprepared and anxious. Take some time to get to know the people in your group. Initiate some new team traditions — even something as simple as donuts on Wednesday. Remember that this is your group. You are the leader. Act with integrity. Respect the people who report to you. Understanding and developing the required skills for new managers can create a team you are proud to lead.
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