Taking the first step into management is usually both exciting and terrifying. After all, it’s a completely new working paradigm, and most new managers feel only partially equipped as they transition into the role.
Instead of learning by trial and error, new managers can also apply lessons from seasoned managers to the situation. Remember, every organizational leader was once new to the management ranks, and many of their trials and tribulations will match yours.
With that in mind, here are a few tips that experienced managers learned along the way and how you can apply them as you begin your journey into management.
Get to Know Your Team Beyond the Job
New managers often focus on assessing the skills and experiences of their team, but not necessarily getting to know them as people. However, by learning about everyone’s life outside of the office, discovering their personal goals, and identifying their preferences, you can build a stronger relationship.
Similarly, letting your team get to know you as a person can assist in creating a sense of trust. This shows that you are willing to let them in, so don’t shy away from casual conversations about outside interests, hobbies, and life goals.
Now, this doesn’t mean you need to wander into incredibly personal territory. Certain topics should always be off-limits, and no one should be pressured to provide intimidate details they aren’t comfortable sharing.
But Don’t Focus on Friendship
It’s common for new managers to want their team to like them or even consider them a friend. However, it’s important to push these desires aside as they typically won’t help you and your team achieve results.
Instead of building friendships, focus on crafting relationships that will help your employees succeed. This includes setting proper boundaries about the nature of the relationship and avoiding stepping into the role of unofficial therapist.
Treat Everyone Equally
When you’re leading a team for the first time, it can be hard not to pick favorites. However, if you treat your employees differently, such as by not being consistent with your expectations, you can have trouble maintaining their trust and morale may suffer.
Fairness and consistency should always be priorities, particularly when it comes to addressing performance issues or rewarding achievements. Everyone should also be held to the same standards based on their positions.
If you need to assign a choice project to one individual, begin by defining the skills and experiences that are required for success. Then honestly assess every potential team member and choose the one whose capabilities best match the assignment.
Quantify Goals and Expectations
When you need to assess employee performance, having goals and expectations that can be clearly defined with metrics is a smart choice. This gives you the ability to use hard data when reviewing how a team member performed over a specific period which can make it easier to stay objective.
Plus, it gives your employee something concrete on which to focus. For example, “increase sales by 10 percent” is much easier to monitor than “provide excellent customer service.”
By removing much of the subjectivity, your staff can easily understand what you are looking for and what they need to do to excel.
If you are looking for more information that can enable new managers to thrive, the experienced staff at Bayside Solutions can help. Contact us to discuss your needs today and see how our expertise can benefit you.