5 rookie tips to managing a team
All the hours clocked to prove your worth have worked in your favour, and you’ve been promoted to a manager - congratulations, rockstar!
But with greater responsibilities to shoulder, now as your team looks to you for judgement call, that glorious title can quickly evaporate any initial excitement. With everyone looking at you, how can you manage all the pressure?
Being a manager is more than just producing stellar results from your work - after all, your great work was what led you here today. Now what’s key is ensuring that you’re bringing your team up the same way you have been groomed for the role.
Unfortunately, without prior experience, management can be a foreign concept. What then, can your new, inexperienced self do to ensure you’re not underperforming in your role while effectively overcoming your challenges head-on?
Take control of your own development
There’s no textbook way of managing a team because of the varying needs across businesses and industries. When it comes to managing your development as a new manager, you need to be the proactive party.
Leadership is one of the most essential attributes of an effective manager, but it is a skill that develops over time through training, mentoring, and adequate experience. Some managers are lucky their companies send them for management trainings and development programmes. But if that’s not the case for you, here are some ways to remain in control of your own development as a leader:
- Learn from fellow managers: Great leaders do not happen in isolation. When you speak with others on the same level, take the chance to identify solutions to common pain points, while seeking to impart knowledge and support in areas of weaknesses.
- Get a mentor: Your superiors were once just like you, fresh into the role and clueless about how to go about with their new tasks. Speak to them, have them mentor you, they will be more than happy to provide guidance for this transitional phase of your career.
It’s completely normal to need some time adjusting to this new role and the responsibilities that follow.
Be prepared to delegate work
It’s a great step transitioning from a contributing team member to a manager, where you become the party driving results for the wider team. As such, your tasks need to be properly delegated to your subordinates.
On top of that, your role has become a much more strategic one, involving your understanding of different strengths and dynamics of your team, and how to best make it all work together, while ensuring they’re on track with their tasks and meeting company objectives.
It can be nerve-wrecking to think someone cannot perform the same tasks as well as you have before, causing you to micromanage your team members.
Instead of telling them what to do, give them ownership of their work while giving support and mentorship when needed. A good leader will know how to draw the balance between micromanaging and under-delegating work.
Treat others with respect
This should be a no-brainer. To command respect from your team, you’ll first need to show the same respect, and not walk around with a sense of superiority from your new-found title.
Start engaging your team members
You may be talking to your team on a day-to-day basis, but as a manager, it has become your responsibility to take that conversation further.
While this doesn’t mean you have to start having daily one-on-one meetings with every one of your direct reports, you’ll need to be available to talk and provide guidance when needed.
Make time to communicate outside work settings with your team, learn more about them and their expectations in their job, identify their pain points and decide if you’re in the position to alleviate these issues.
Knowing they have a leader who is well-invested in their well-being and progress will empower employees to be productive, and remain loyal to the company.
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