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If you have never been a manager before, you may feel as if you’ve been thrown into the deep end without a paddle. Becoming a manager for a group of people who you once worked alongside can be very stressful, it can feel incredibly awkward and first and you may feel guilty giving orders. The important thing to remember is that this is your career and you have been given a wonderful opportunity to spread your wings and prove what you are capable of as an individual and to grow your professional skills even further. If you don’t know where to start and how you are supposed to act as a manager, here are some tips:
Don’t become smug
The worst thing that people can do when they earn a position of slight power is to let it go their head and play it off as if they are better than everyone else. You are not better than everyone else, you have simply proven qualified and experienced enough to handle the responsibility of looking after a group of employees.
Act like a boss, not a friend
The important thing to keep in mind when you move up in the workplace is to balance your behaviour in a professional way. While you don’t want to buy yourself a crown and walk around the office calling everyone peasants, you also can’t have that same friend-to-friend relationship as you did when you were a lower member of the team. Now that you have found yourself responsible for the running of an office and you have to delegate tasks, you need to learn to distance yourself from the rest of the team in a way where they respect your authority without thinking of you as a dictator.
Discuss your new role
When you get promoted to the position of manager, make sure that you take some time to sit down with your boss and talk through the duties, responsibilities and actions you should be taking as a people manager. If you are worries about how to treat your staff and what to do in terms of talking to them and holding team meetings of your own- voice these concerns with your boss and they will be able to give you some advice on how you need to act in your new role. Take the time to also discuss what your goals are in terms of sales or KPIs within the office, and how best to delegate tasks amongst your team.
Learn the culture
Every company has a different way of working and different views. In order for you to find your place within the organisation and allow it to function well, you will need to take the time to work out how the body of the business works. Where is the brain, the blood and the heart of the business? What makes it tick and who are the key players?
Think back to your old managers
You may have had several managers in your time in the working world, and hopefully there will be at least one of those managers who you looked up to and saw as a good role model. Take on their ways and incorporate them with your own as you find your flow and get used to the role. Over the years you will develop your own way of running things- but when you start out it is helpful to have a role model to look up to.
Get to know your employees
If you have simply been promoted to the role of manager within the same team, then you will already know your colleagues pretty well; however, if you are moving to a new company to be a manager, you will need to take some time to get to know your employees. Make sure that you hold regular staff meetings when you first join and let each of your team members explain a little bit about the role they take on in the office and any projects they are currently working on. Continue to hold meetings each week or month to catch up and make sure everyone is happy with what they are doing and they aren’t struggling with anything. It may also be a great idea to take out some time to go on team-building exercises or even take the team out for dinner at the end of the month to get to know everyone on a more personal level. Although you do want boundaries, it is much easier working with people you know trust and respect.
Understand individual needs
You will be managing a group of people who are all unique in the way they think, work and who have individual personalities. You may find that you end up working with someone who suffers from dyslexia and struggles to read, or suffers with anxiety and struggles to talk. Making arrangements to accommodate and help these individuals will be what sets you apart as a good manager. Certain members of the team such as accounting may require a private office to work with sensitive information, so make sure that you cater to everyone’s needs.
Discuss your role with your team
When you are promoted to a level which is higher than your peers, it can be awkward and a little bit uncomfortable for everyone to get used to. Instead of staying quiet and beginning to act like a manager straight away, take an hour or so to sit down with your new team and talk to them about the new role you’ll be playing. They will understand that you have new duties and will be able to help you adjust to your new role with encouragement. Working with your friends is helping in this way because they can help you to air your concerns and feeling and reassure you that it won’t change anything with your friendship. You will then be able to transition to the role of manager with the full support of those you once worked alongside.