Becoming a team manager is a great achievement and a significant milestone in your career that’s definitely worth celebrating. But leading a team also comes with its fair share of challenges and pitfalls — which no first-time manager should underestimate.
Winning over a team of professionals, understanding their needs and wants, building a great workplace culture and meeting the expectations of your own managers is a great learning curve for anyone, no matter how long you’ve been working in the field.
So, how can you be better prepared for the role and make a long-lasting impact in your new position? In this blog, you’ll learn more about what to expect and how to hone your management and leadership skills before taking on new responsibilities.
- Becoming a Manager: What to Expect
- Hone Your People Skills
- Learn How to Develop a Clear Vision and Set Goals
- Develop Leadership Skills and Continue Learning About Management
- Learn How To Communicate Effectively and review Communication Strategies
- Learn About the Impact of Work Culture
- Get to Grips With the Art of Delegating
- Learn How to Deliver and Receive Feedback
Becoming a manager: what to expect
Studies have found that around 44% of first-time managers felt unprepared to take on the responsibilities of their new managerial role — and nearly 90% wished they’d received more training.
But beyond the lack of leadership skills, taking over a new team comes with many more interpersonal skills. After all, the entire team will need to undergo drastic changes, which can impact productivity and wellbeing in the long and the short-term.
You can address these challenges by maintaining a humble mindset and focusing on learning more about people management and leadership. Here are some skills to learn and actions to support a smooth transition and effectively manage your team from day one.
Hone Your People Skills
No matter whether you’re hired as a manager internally or externally, winning over a team is never easy. It doesn’t help if you present yourself as a distant, authoritative figure not willing to get to know your team.
Instead, take time to learn about each team member’s background, goals and get to know the current frameworks. You might find that aspects of their culture could be improved, but this might not be the right time to implement strict or drastic rules. Consider working on your soft and people skills before your first day as a manager.
Learn How to Develop a Clear Vision and Set Goals
Strategising doesn’t come easy to all new managers and you might struggle to have a clear vision of your objectives and mission. However, life as a manager can be hectic and it can be far too easy to get trapped in the daily routine and forget about the long-term vision.
Before taking on new responsibilities, learn more about the company's mission, assess the current team’s efficiency and offer a vision to guide you through your time as a manager.
Develop Leadership Skills and Continue Learning About Management
According to a new survey of over 1,000 UK managers and supervisors, around 26% of those with managerial responsibilities have never received any leadership training, while 35% don’t receive regular or ongoing training.
And yet, managers and supervisors are the backbones of any company and the figures in charge of leading the team towards greater achievements and nurturing the talent of each member. With so much at stake, not receiving or seeking any training before taking on such an impactful role can be devastating — for yourself and the company.
Investing in yourself and enrolling in tailored management and leadership courses can help you build a solid foundational knowledge to succeed as a manager.
Learn How to Communicate Effectively and Review Communication Strategies
Communicating with others is supposed to be a natural action for most individuals. Yet, a Harvard Business Review survey found that nearly 70% of managers feel uncomfortable communicating with employees.
During your training towards becoming a manager, remember that communication is one of the essential management skills to master to get the most out of your team and build a thriving work culture. In turn, all new and seasoned managers must understand how to communicate well, build relationships and listen actively.
Pro tip: Communication often goes beyond the spoken words — learn how to interpret body language to better understand your team.
Learn About the Impact of Work Culture
‘Work culture’ tends to be an often overused buzzword. But studies have found that the workplace environment, culture and physical space all impact the ability of employees to be productive and express their talent.
Nearly 80% of employees say their work culture influences their ability to do their best work, 73% of team members are disengaged with the company’s goals because of their work environment and 76% of talents see their productivity and customer service impacted by their workplace culture.
As a new manager, you’ll have the unique opportunity to start building a healthier, more collaborative and inclusive work culture from day one. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to learn how to shape the work environment.
Get to Grips With the Art of Delegating
Delegating is one of the most delicate and complex tasks managers are responsible for. Getting it wrong can affect the productivity and balance of the whole team, while proper delegation can enable growth and development.
At the base of effective delegation is a thorough knowledge of each team member and their strengths and weaknesses, as well as a deep understanding of what each task involves. Effective delegation is about assigning the right task to the right person at the right time while offering adequate direction, communication and supervision.
Learn How to Deliver and Receive Feedback
Although nearly 40% of managers feel uncomfortable delivering feedback to employees, it has never been more important to do so — with care, compassion and empathy. What’s more, over 65% of employees wish to receive more feedback and the frequency and quality of the feedback are directly related to employee engagement.
Learning to deliver and receive feedback certainly involves a steep learning curve all managers have to navigate. However, mastering this skill can enhance your team's productivity, engagement and satisfaction.
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As a new manager, there's always more to learn. Especially if you're new to it, it takes a lot of training to become the most effective manager possible.
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