Written by:alison petirrojos
Updated:|Posted on: May 14, 2021 |Reading time: 17m
Welcome new managers!
Before we dive in, here's a look at what you can expect.
You've just taken on one of the most important roles in the workforce because you have the most direct impact on employees—the heart of every organization. Your success and development will be influenced by your leadership. No pressure, right?
But… We tend to talk more often about what employees need from their managers in order to shine than what managers need to help them get there.
That's why we've created this complete one-stop-shop for new managers like you. Learn how to prepare for the role like a champion and be the leader you always dreamed of being.
You have an incredible opportunity ahead of you and a lot to do. But for now, sit back, relax and roll.
PS We have included many useful tips for you throughout the article, so stay tuned.
A quick snapshot of the current workforce.
As you prepare to enter the workforce from a new perspective, we want to give you an idea of where you are today. Despite the upward trend of companies trying harder to improve their work culture, Gallup reveals thatonly 33% of the population is currently employed at work. This means that an amazing67% of employees are not involved in their daily work life.
It's a problem, but the good news is that there is a neat way to fix it. and startswith you.
Our approach to executive training
Leadership, for better or worse, directly affects the level of engagement and commitment an employee feels towards their organization. Actually,75% of employeeswho quit their jobs, they quit because of the manager.
So why is so little attention paid to the critical moment when managers lay the groundwork for their leadership? We believe the lack of attention paid to preparing employees for their new role as manager is one reason engagement has grown so slowly.
On a more positive note, we believe that if more organizations provide employees with the tools, support and resources they need to transition, we can change the outcome.
Becoming a manager for the first time
There is more than one way to become a manager. Whether you're being promoted internally or hired as a manager for the first time at a new company, the bottom line is that one moment you're an employee and the next moment you're a new manager with a completely different set of responsibilities and challenges.
Meet Mary, she's a new manager just like you.
Mary was recently the top employee on her organization's marketing team. Over the past two years, Mary has demonstrated a great skill set and experience in her trade that has set her apart from her peers. At Mary's second annual review, she was promoted to manager of the company's marketing division. Honored by the offer and the salary increase, she accepted and is now ready to start in her new role.
Why was Maria promoted?
Mary's employers believe that she will succeed as a manager because she was an exceptional employee.
It seems that after two years of exceptional work, being promoted to manager is the next logical step.
But there is a flaw.
You can become a great leader if you put in the effort.
Ask all the necessary questions about thenature and requirements of their role.
develop yourinterpersonal skills &emotional intelligence.
Make sure this is thebest type of promotion for you, compared to something on the side.
be sure that youto wantto lead a team.
The promotion problem
Management is a trade in itself and also requires preparation, training and time to do well. Just because Mary was an expert in her field doesn't mean she's ready to be a manager.
Being a leader requires a unique skill set and is not for everyone, especially those unwilling to learn how to lead.
Yet in the blink of an eye, Mary gets a promotion, a raise, a job title, and a team. She quickly realizes that she's not sure what she's following. She has a whole team depending on her, but she has no idea what to do! Too embarrassed to ask for help or clarification, Mary is stuck in a rut.
“You know how hard it is to be the boss when you're so out of control! It is difficult to verbalize. It's the feeling that suddenly... it's the feeling you get when you have a child. On day X minus 1, you still do not have a child. On X day, suddenly you are a mother or a father and you areshould know everythingneed to know about caring for this child.
Maria is not alone in this feeling, and neither are you. In our own research, we found that53% of managers said they did not feel they had an accurate view of what it meant to be a manager.when they started in their role.
But it doesn't have to be that way.
We'll give you everything you need to set yourself up for success from the start.
Training new managers: how to prepare
Now that we've covered the basics, let's dig in.
1. Ok, but what does a manager do?
The Oxford English Dictionaryry defines a manager as “a person responsible for controlling or managing an organization or group of employees”.
Let's be honest, that definition just doesn't work.
Being a manager is a complex, relationship-driven position, and anything human in nature cannot be reduced to a simple, clear definition. One thing that remains constant across the board is thatThe role of a manager is ultimately to support and guide his people to be the best they can be.It is not about authority, control or power. In fact, if you're in it for the glory or the title, it's not going to work.
Being a manager means getting the best out of people. That is the conclusion. It's a selfless, people-oriented, heart-driven role, and worth every second of complexity if you're in it for the right reasons.
Every company comes with different expectations and with every team there will be a different set of challenges. At a high level, these are some of the key responsibilities of a manager.
High-level responsibilities of a manager*:
- Develop, support, train, motivate and reward employees.
- Plan ahead and evaluate projects and tasks.
- Define (with employees) clear roles and responsibilities.
- Establish goals and performance standards.
- Create a healthy work environment by implementing and maintaining open lines of communication, work systems, policies and procedures.
- Network and act as a liaison between employees and senior management.
according to aOfficevibe Pulse Searchstudy, 40% of managers were not given a clear list of responsibilities when they started.
2. Smooth transition from employee to manager.
The most important thing to understand about your role is that it is changing. It is not a continuation of his role as self-employed and it is not "better performing his current role."
Being a manager is a whole new job.
"Suddenly I realize how much I didn't know", is a common lament during this transition, asmiguel watkinssuggests. You will have a lot to learn, but you must take advantage of the great opportunity that it is.
For Mary, the transition from star employee to manager means a transition from:
Specialist / Maker: As an independent expert, Mary was deeply involved in the action, focused on the details and production of the work.
Generalist / Orchestrator: As a manager, she is outside of the production process, focusing on the big picture while coaching employees to achieve personal and professional goals.
Quick tip: how to leave out the details.
Focus on "what" the deliverables are and "when" they need to be completed. Leave the details of “how” this is done to each person.
Onechallenge you may face in this transitionyou are breaking your old habits as an individual worker. Your initial instinct might be to go work together with your team and correct or even redo what they have done to achieve the goals. You will quickly realize that this is not sustainable. Ultimately, what it means to be a manager is to guide a team towards the achievement of objectives so that they can function autonomously.
The biggest misconception about my new role was my job description. I quickly devoted myself to solving all the problems that came my way. Is anyone having a hard time learning a new technology? I can teach them. Does the scope of the project exceed the capacity of the team? I can balance the formula. Now I can confidently say that my job is no longer to fix things, it's to guide and manage them.– Louis Bridgman, SAP software development manager
3. Get into the manager mindset.
Going from a "doer" to a "generalist" requires a considerable change in your thinking.
As an independent contributor, his focus was on his individual performance and success. Being a leader is a role that requires youPut the needs and development of others before your own.
Without bursting your bubble, it's not about you anymore. But that's the beauty of the job. Seeing others grow, learn, and succeed under your leadership will give you a more powerful sense of success than you ever felt as an individual contributor.
Using the airplane analogy, you should put on your own oxygen mask before helping the person next to you. Meditating and practicing mindfulness are ways to relieve stress and create clarity.
Servant leader mentality.
Focus on the needs of others before your ownand accept your own success as the team's success. It is a bottom-up approach instead of the traditional top-down approach. Think helpful guidance rather than delegation of command.
Accept the differences:
Avoid comparing your employees' strengths and weaknesses to your own.
Get away from it:
Set clear deadlines, but leave the "how" to your team.
Encourage your team to be curious, continually learn, and push themselves beyond their limits. This will keep them engaged, creative, and producing great results.
Ask, don't say:
Ask more questions than you provide answers to help employees learn.
Anticipate challenges, obstacles and expectations in the future.
Being a manager does not mean being superhuman. In fact, it is one of the most human roles out there. Be authentic with your team and allow yourself to be vulnerable. The more real you are with them, the more real they will be with you. That's when the magic happens.
Listen to your intuition:
Your instincts are probably right.
Be patient with yourself:
You are new to this! Don't be so hard on yourself and try to have fun.
4. Don't be shy, ask for help.
Unfortunately, many companies promote employees to a management position thinking they'll "figure it out" because they've always been great at everything else. It's like thinking that because you know how to ride a bike, you won't have a problem riding a motorcycle. There is some continuity, yes, but deep down it's a completely different task!
So put aside any ego or fear and ask for the clarifications and resources you need to start off on the right foot. The more you understand and prepare for your role, armed with the necessary equipment to get off the ground smoothly, the more successful you and your team will be.
Your future self will thank you!
The New Manager's Checklist:
66%of the managers we interviewed said they received no training or mentoring before starting out as managers.
- Request a Leadership Coach:Becoming a successful leader is not always intuitive. It takes work. If you want to train a team properly, you also need a coach.
- Find a mentor within the organization:Find another manager you can go to to talk about the role, what to expect, and how to deal with challenges as you face them. Having a support network is critical to your success.
- Request a clear list of roles and responsibilities:use this templateand fill it out with your boss and HR for clear guidance, and then be prepared to do the same exercise with everyone on your team.
- Find out the current state of the team you will lead: Conduct one-on-one interviews with your new hires to learn about everyone's challenges and work styles before taking the plunge. it's a great wayto individualize your leadershipstyle per employee
The first month in your new role may be the most important. Download our completeChecklist for New Managersto set you and your team up for success.
Debunking Management Myths
Forget everything you think you know about your position. We clear up the most common management misconceptions, so there are no big surprises.
MYTH #1 Independence x Interdependence
mito:Mary was under the false assumption that becoming a manager meant having more freedom and autonomy to do what she believed was best for the company. She focused on the privileges and power that comes with the title, believing that she would finally "no longer be burdened by the unreasonable demands of others".
Reality: Becoming a manager actually means having less autonomy than when you were a freelancer, because now you have a team and a boss. It is what we call a Sandwich. Your job is no longer to do your job independently, but to help an entire team achieve its goals, responding to the expectations of senior management. You have to manage both up and down.
It's a job that requires Mary to wear a lot of hats. She is no longer a subordinate, she is a "subordinate, equal and superior". She still has a boss, and now she's a boss too. It takes some time to figure out this three-hat balancing act, but the first step to conquering it is knowing how to expect it and understanding that the nature of the job isn't as simple as having the last word and giving your approval. Being a manager is a relationship-based role. Finding the time to balance each will come with time and experience.
MYTH #2 Control x Commitment
Now that you understand that the essence of your job is managing and balancing relationships, let's look at how to successfully manage those relationships.
mito: Mary had the misconception that she would have control over her employees simply because she is now the boss. But thinking that employees will listen to you because they "have to" is a myth. The same goes for the belief that succeeding in her role means maintaining that control.
Reality: Success is not about your employees doing what they are told because they have to. Success is the personal commitment of your employees to a course of action because they believe in you and have fully embraced your vision and ability as a leader. The end result is this success.comes from connection, not delegation, and your credibility as a leader has very little to do with formal authority in the end.
10 ways to earn the trust and respect of your team:
- Be transparent with motives and goals.
- Show your character and intention to do what's right for your team.
- Put the team's needs before your own.
- Help employees grow by allowing them to test, learn, and fail without fear.
- Trust employees from the start, don't make them feel like they have to earn it.
- Allow yourself to be vulnerable and admit mistakes.
- Use inclusive words like "we" to show that you are part of the team, not above it.
- Collect ongoing feedback from your team and act quickly where a change is needed.
- Be yourself: people respond better to authenticity.
- Be open to learning from your team - everyone will have something to teach you!
First impressions are lasting. Empower the team with humility by "asking" instead of "telling." Learn about your employees, let them learn about you, and make it clear that you are there to be part of the team, not yourself.
PRO TIP: Earn the trust of each team member by hosting regular one-on-one meetings. office environment is oursone in one softwarethat facilitates the planning and execution of one-on-one meetings.
MYTH #3 Hard Skills vs. Personal skills
Think of hard skills as your technical skills and soft skills as your human skills.
mito:Mary is confident that people will trust her leadership because of her experience, because it is technical skills and technical skills that will help her succeed in her new role.
Reality:Your hard skills will now take a backseat to your soft skills. What matters most is your ability to help your team develop their own expertise, not do their work for them. Employees want to learn and grow, not be saved. In fact, jumping on your own abilities will often be perceived as micromanaging.
Because the essence of your new manager role is relationship-oriented,the necessary skillsto excel as a leader they rely on the human being. To be effective, you must be open to learning about yourself, your emotional vulnerabilities, strengths, and weaknesses. It requires discipline and commitment. By committing to your own self-learning and nurturing your emotional intelligence (EQ), you will develop the ability to help others succeed. Try to develop your empathy by exercising it in everyday situations. For example, consider a point of view that differs from yours and present a strong argument to support it. Even if you don't change your own perspective, this is a valuable exercise in critical thinking.
The 5 Domains of Equalization by Daniel Goleman
- Self-awareness: knowing and understanding your emotions
- Self-regulation: Managing your emotions and the ability to think before acting
- Internal Motivation: Set goals and motivate yourself to follow them
- Empathy: recognizing and understanding the emotions of others
- Social skills: building and managing relationships, collaborating, and managing conflict
Myth #4: Core scenario vs. backstage
mito: Mary believes that she will continue to be the center of attention, but more so now that she is the boss. She looks forward to receiving more recognition than ever!
Reality:True success for managers comes from getting out of the spotlight and moving behind the scenes! It means leading a team from the bottom up and transferring the recognition you're used to receiving to others. A great leader is happy to let others shine and understands that his success is found in the reflection of the achievements of his people.
learn more aboutOfficevibe Employee Engagement Solution— the trusted companion of 50,000 managers around the world to learn how their team is really feeling, so they can take action in real time
Quick Tip: How to Recognize Your Employees
- Offer recognition on specific projects or incentives.
- Acknowledge them publicly to increase appreciation and create a positive team environment.
- Encourage peer recognition to help peers build relationships.
- Give compliments as close to the event as possible so that it is timely and relevant.
How to measure success behind the scenes
It may not always be tangible, but it will always be great.
The curiosity factor:
A teacher measures his own success by the performance of his students, but even more by the questions they ask in class and their desire to learn more.
In the workplace, seeing your employees try new initiatives, challenge ideas, and ask prepared questions is a great sign of success. It means that you have eliminated their fear from day to day. Curiosity and creativity thrive best in environments where people feel safe to dream big and fail shamelessly.
The collaborative environment:
A dance instructor measures success by his students' performance on stage as a cohesive whole, not just as individuals.
Brain power is always strongest when it's collective, so a team that supports each other and works together to achieve goals will produce better results than a team that works in silos. Helping employees bond by creating a culture of trust, respect, and vulnerability will ensure a successful co-creation. Try to hold open monthly retrospectives where employees can share their feelings about what worked well and what could be improved.