Getting promoted to manager can be both exciting and challenging. It is quite an accomplishment to take the next step up the corporate ladder but being successful in this new role also means mastering a whole new set of skills. Transitioning from focusing solely on your own work to now being responsible for an entire team can feel overwhelming. That said, successfully leading a team can be an incredibly rewarding experience. As you settle into your new role, consider these best practices to help you succeed as a new manager.
Get to Know Your Employees
As a new leader, you need to get to know the people you are leading. This means more than learning their names and their job titles. It means spending time with every employee and getting to know as much as you can about them including their career goals, strengths, weaknesses, and aspirations. It’s even important to learn about them as a person. Get to know the names of their children and spouses, their hobbies, their favorite sports teams and anything interesting about their personality. Not only does this help you better understand how to motivate and engage them, but taking a vested interest in your employees as people helps to build a solid foundation of trust.
Set Clear Expectations
Managers need to establish clear expectations about performance, projects, and behavior right from the start. Your team needs to know exactly what you expect from them. Sit down with your team to go over these rules and expectations, and encourage them to set goals with you as a team. Be sure your goals and expectations are attainable, and make sure they can be evaluated using benchmarks. As new tasks, projects, and assignments arise, keep your team in the loop and always strive to communicate clear expectations about what needs to be done.
Provide Regular Feedback
Studies have shown that employees want feedback and they prefer to have it on a weekly basis. Make sure you provide timely feedback for each employee and address any problems or concerns right away. You don’t have to wait for the quarterly review to share feedback about an employee’s performance. Routine feedback gives employees a chance to improve their performance and grow professionally. It also helps to prevent future roadblocks. Just as your employees expect feedback from you, you should also be willing to accept feedback from your employees. Encourage your employees to share their own feedback and make an effort to assess your own strengths and weaknesses.
Be Transparent About Company Happenings
As a manager, you are privy to information regarding company decisions and happenings within the organization. Keeping this information to yourself and changing your team’s workflow without explanation can lead to frustration. Instead, be open and honest with your employees as much as you can and keep them informed about what is going on within the company. This fosters a trusting relationship, even if you are faced with challenges.
Address Difficult Situations
It’s inevitable that you will be faced with conflict, tension, or difficult conversations at some point. It may not be the highlight of your job, but it comes with the territory. You may have to deal with a gossiping team member or an underperforming employee. Confrontation is never easy, but it’s important to deal with it in a timely manner. Avoiding these difficult issues can only lead to negative performance so it’s important to tackle it head on. Learn to actively listen, practice empathy, and acknowledge your employees’ feelings. Seek to get to the root of problems so you can focus on collaborating to work toward a proper solution.