The journey from valued team member to manager is a long and arduous one, but it doesn’t end as soon as you get your first role as a manager.
You’ve still got to prove yourself as a talented leader who can drive your team to the success your organisation expects.
This can be a challenge for many new managers, particularly when they’re moving into a completely new company as well as a new role.
If you’re just starting out as a manager, read on to find our checklist of everything you need to do to prepare for this exciting new chapter in your career.
Get To Know Everyone In Your Team
It goes without saying, but you need to know all of the members of your team before you’re able to manage them. If you’re working in a new company, then it’s important that you connect with and learn about your new team quickly in the early stages of your employment. It’s easier than you think to get to know someone without asking them a lot of intrusive questions, so you can swiftly understand your team members and how they operate.
Understand The Team Dynamic
As well as the individual team members, you also need to get to know the way that they all interact together before you start leading them. Observe your team at work to see how they operate. You can also check out the way they communicate, so that you can learn about the relationships in your team and which staff members work well together.
Familiarise Yourself With Team Procedures
Part of your exploration of your team’s dynamic will involve finding out about the procedures that your staff use. See how each procedure works and whether it is effective. You should also try to use every software solution being utilised by your team, so that you can get a thorough overview of each process and how the human and digital aspects of your team’s role work together. This approach will not only teach you valuable insight into your team, but also give you the chance to find ways that you can improve efficiency and better distribute the workload.
Invest in Training
Becoming a manager for the first time can be a scary experience, so if you feel like you need additional preparation then consider taking a course. One of the most popular options for managers is the First Line Management Course which is provided by training institutions such as The BCF Group. Their First Line Management Course has four key management modules which will provide you with the training you need to feel confident and prepared to lead your team to success. If you need some flexibility, you can even get the course carried out in-house.
Without goals, you and your team will have nothing to work towards, so it’s important that you set targets as soon as possible. You should have personal goals, as well as team aims. These might be quantifiable for qualifiable, or a combination of both. Write your goals down and keep returning to them to check that you’re on track to achieve them. Set yourself time limits for each goal, so that you can keep tracking your progress as a manager.
Adjust Your Mindset
Going from being a member of a team to its leader means that you have to change more than just your behaviour; you also need to make adjustments to your overall mindset. Change your way of thinking, so that you can lead your team effectively. It might take some time, but your first line management course should be able to help you to understand how your mindset needs to change if you’re going to be a successful and respected leader.
Practice Your Active Listening Skills
One of the main skills that any manager needs is the ability to listen. Active listening is an effective way to show the speaker that their thoughts and ideas are being taken into account. Practice this technique on your staff and hone your skills, so that you can show them that you are dedicated to understanding their issues and helping make their roles easier and more efficient.
Find A Mentor
As you adjust to your role as a manager, you’ll need to keep developing and adapting to the new situations you find yourself in. One great way to continue your personal development is to find a corporate mentor. It could be someone within your organisation, or a professional mentor. Whoever they are, it’s important that you find someone who you get along well with and who has the experience to guide you through your managerial role.
Give Yourself The Support You Give Your Team
Many new managers give themselves a hard time unnecessarily, because they hold themselves to an unrealistically high standard. This can lead you to become despondent, and even burn yourself out. To avoid this, you should remember to give yourself the same support you give your team. Forgive yourself for minor mistakes and try to use them as a learning exercise, rather than something to be punished for. This will help you to enjoy your experience as a manager and learn from every setback.