You were born to be a leader. It is your passion to take the knowledge and experience you have gained and share it with others. And now you have the opportunity to manage a team of your very own.
New managers often enter their roles with a wave of emotions ranging from terrified to ecstatic. No manner of work experience can fully prepare you for what it means to be a team manager, but there are plenty of things you can do to get that much closer.
Let’s take a look at 15 new manager tips to get you ready for your new role as the leader of a team.
1. Prepare Before the Promotion
Most of the time people have a decent idea of when they will be getting promoted to a management position. If this is a goal for anyone who hasn’t reached this level yet, then it is crucial to your success to begin preparing for this role now. Take time to watch other managers, learn from them, and even take education courses on business management to get ready.
2. Always Be Learning
Author Vernon Howard once said to “always walk through life as if you have something new to learn and you will.” Even as a manager, it is important to be humble and teachable. Those who you work with are always going to be better than you at something, so it is imperative to a manager’s success that they also be learning.
3. Focus on the Big Picture
One of the most common new manager tips you will hear from senior-level management all the way down to coffee-running interns is to never micromanage your team. Instead, focus on the big picture of team productivity and simply be aware of what they must accomplish to reach deadlines. By allowing your team to manage themselves, you help to avoid the cycle of despair that comes with micromanagement.
4. Learn Leadership Skills
Echoing what was said earlier in the area of learning, it is important to learn solid leadership skills. There are a plethora of leadership development books and websites out there, so it’s time to start reading. Countless successful leaders have taken the time to put their knowledge and experience out there for the world to see.
5. Minimize Meetings
Remember those meetings you used to always complain about before you became a new manager? Don’t feel like you need to continue this trend and end up having meetings just to have meetings once you are in this role. If you can figure something out via email or another group collaboration tool like Slack, take advantage of that time-saving resource instead.
6. Get to Know Your Team
Building a personal connection with your team members is a great new manager tip to learn how to be a more effective leader to them individually. Not only should you ask about their job responsibilities and career aspirations, but also ask about their family, lifestyle, and hobbies to develop a relationship of trust. Having occasional team building activities is a great way to get to know your team.
7. Be the Boss, Not a Friend
Although you should get to know your team on a personal level, it is still important to realize when at the office you are their boss and not their friend. These types of relationships can cause feelings of bias or favoritism to arise in other employees, sparking problems for team morale. If you do develop friendships with others in the office, be sure to maintain professional interactions while on the clock.
8. Treat Every Team Member with Respect
Aretha Franklin said it best when she sang the lyrics, “R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Find out what it means to me.” Respect means something different to everyone. As a manager it will be up to you to determine what that is and how to show it to each individual member of your team.
9. Always Be Available
You should always be easily accessible to your team with an “open-door” policy. Let them know the best way to communicate with you and be sure to always respond to their inquiries, issues, and concerns in a timely manner. This level of availability will garner respect and make it easier for your team to keep you in the loop on daily operations.
10. Become an Active Listener
Eye contact, nodding your head, and watching non-verbal cues are just a few pieces of what it takes to be an active listener. One of the most vital new manager tips on this list is to pay close attention to your staff whenever they approach you for a conversation. Make a point to never interrupt them and always repeat back the key points they mention to affirm you heard what they had to say.
11. Stay Organized
Maintaining an organized office, as well as keeping tasks on track will go a long way in boosting team productivity on a daily basis. Using tools like Toggl Plan’s project management software streamline these processes and help you manage every facet of your team’s to-do list. Once you have everything set up, you can then share these lists with your group.
12. Plan Ahead
There are numerous quotes from famous individuals discussing the importance of planning ahead, but one of the most popular is by Benjamin Franklin when he said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Another way Toggl Plan can help is by setting up plans, assembling timelines, and assigning responsibilities to specific team members. By planning ahead, you will keep everyone on the same page and avoid pitfalls that stem from a lack of preparation.
13. Do Performance Reviews
Whether the company you work for requires them or not, you should always do individual performance reviews with each member of your team, at least once a year. This is not a time to tell them all the things they are doing wrong. These reviews are a time to recognize ways they are succeeding and offer motivational insight on opportunities for them to improve.
14. Ask for Feedback
There are a couple of different ways to look at this new manager tip. You should constantly be asking your team for ideas and suggestions when it comes to business operations, strategies, and ways to improve the company vision. You can also view this as a means to ask for personal feedback and recommendations on how you can improve as a manager.
15. Lead by Example
If there are any new manager tips worth listening to, it is to always lead your team by example. Avoid the “do as I say, not as I do” mindset like the plague and ensure you are working just as hard, if not harder, than everyone else. This will generate a great deal of respect from your employees and motivate them to do their best.
More New Manager Tips to be Successful
To learn more about what it takes to be an effective manager and leader, be sure to check out our blog. We frequently share new manager tips, ways to keep you and your team productive, and other management strategies.