It’s been a tough year, but you’ve impressed your bosses so much that you’ve been promoted to a management role. Or perhaps you’ve decided to upgrade from a previous job and snagged a management position. Managing people is challenging at the best of times, so how are you supposed to succeed while Covid-19 restrictions are still in place? Take a deep breath and read on! Here are ten tips on achieving success in your new management role:
1. Learn from your predecessors
The best way to avoid the biggest pitfalls in your new role is to talk to your predecessors. Find out what their experience of the role was, what their biggest challenges were and if there are any unfinished projects that you need to take over.
If your predecessor is not available, then invest in a meeting with your supervisor and colleagues. Similarly, it will help to speak to a veteran with experience in a similar role, as they’ll be able to give you advice on what not to do and tips on how to excel at your new role.
2. Get to know your new team
If you’ve been promoted in the same company, you may already know your team well. And you’ll also know what your team expects from you in your new management role. If this is not the case, then your priority should be to talk to your team. Find out who they are, what their role is, what skills they bring to the team and where they fit in the team. If you know their strengths and capabilities, then you’ll know what tasks and projects suit them best. Ask your team what their expectations of you are. Lastly, find out if there are any resources or training, they need or would like to have to perform better in their role.
Always remember to acknowledge excellent work and achievements and to provide constructive criticism (instead of exhibiting destructive and demeaning behaviour) in the case of failure or mistakes. If you are all working remotely, schedule a weekly or daily video conference to catch up and keep up to date with everyone’s progress.
3. Communication is key
One of the key challenges that any team faces is effective communication. If people don’t know what is expected of them or when deadlines are, projects will not be completed successfully. Make sure that each team member knows what their tasks or roles are, set deadlines and swiftly communicate any changes. Talk about the various communications channels available and decide which ones will work best in which circumstances.
Ensure that your employees know that they can approach you for guidance or advice. Make time to consult with them and listen to their ideas and progress and provide them with meaningful solutions.
4. Stay in the know
If you don’t know what’s going on in your department, then chances are that someone is slacking off and another is being overworked. Make sure that you keep track of the various projects and tasks your team members are busy with and what the progress is. You need to know about any challenges so that you can step in if needed or help your team deal with something before it becomes a roadblock.
It’s also a good idea to know how your employees are doing in their private lives. If they’re having a tough time at home, it will help you better understand their reactions or mood at work. You can offer additional support. On the other hand, it is great to celebrate milestones and out-of-office achievements, as this will make your team members feel like they are acknowledged and cared for.
5. Don’t micro-manage
Although you need to know what’s going on in your office or team, you don’t need to be a part of every tiny detail. Your employees know what they are doing and are in their specific role for a reason. Delegate tasks and trust each person to complete them successfully. Often, employees that are given free rein in certain tasks will exceed your expectations. Always keep in mind that you need to look at the bigger picture. If you get bogged down in all the little things that someone else can do, you won’t have any time for the tasks that only you can do.
6. Always be willing to learn and accept opinions and suggestions
If you assume a “my way or the highway” attitude, you stand a greater risk of failure. Your team is a wonderful combination of skills, with each member having an area of expertise. Take advantage of that and ask for advice or suggestions. Don’t just shoot people down. Listen to what they have to say. They may even be able to teach you and the rest of the team something new!
7. Set specific goals for specific time frames
One of the keys to success is setting goals. Like setting goals for individual projects, you should also set job or career goals for yourself. Is there something that you’d like to improve? A new project that you’d like to complete? An innovation or system to improve life for employees or that will benefit the company? Decide on what you’d like to accomplish them set realistic goals for yourself. Be clear and decisive. You’ll be more motivated and be able to face any challenge if you know what you’re working towards.
8. Be confident and trust in your experience
You may be new to your role, but there’s a reason you were appointed. Don’t second-guess yourself. You have the experience and qualifications to back you up. This is not to say that you should ignore the input and advice of others. But don’t let someone make you doubt your competency and worth. You can do it!
9. Start off with some quick wins
One of the best ways to prove that you deserve your promotion or management role is to solve a key issue that affects your team or department. This can range from establishing a new, effective communication channel to improving inter-departmental cooperation with a weekly pizza social during lunchtime. Schedule a meeting with your boss, colleagues, and team members to find out what their challenges or needs are. That will give you an idea of which issues affect them most and which you’ll be able to solve.
10. Admit your failures and learn from them
As much as you’d like to do everything perfectly from the get-go, the reality is that you’ll make mistakes. You’re not perfect and it will take some time to settle into your management role. If you try your best, gracefully admit your failures, and learn from them, you will earn your colleagues’ respect. Try to never make the same mistake twice. Ask colleagues for advice to set the mistake right or to avoid making it again. Stay humble.
Bonus tip: Always go the extra mile
This is a cliché for a reason. People notice when you’re willing to go outside of your job description to assist someone, attract new business or improve the company. Do research, be innovative and keep up with the latest trends. It will not only help your team and department stay competitive but will also impress the boss.
Adjusting to a new role will take some time, so be patient with yourself. Keep these tips in mind as you navigate your new responsibilities, and you won’t go wrong. For more tips on remote working, great office software and other employment-related topics, visit our blog for a range of interesting and informative articles.