4 Tips for Every New Manager
Becoming a manager for the first time is a big step, perhaps one of the biggest you will take in your career. It’s not just a promotion in the typical sense, it’s mastering a new set of skills and probably changing your role quite significantly.
It’s an incredibly exciting step to take, but it’s also important to realise that it will be challenging and you will need to master a new set of skills. You will need to get used to working with people in a very different way than what you’ve been used to. You may need to undertake training, be prepared to take advice from others and perhaps even make mistakes, which you can learn from.
While you will do quite a bit of learning on the job, picking up what works and what doesn’t as you go, you can also prepare to become a manager and try as much as possible to make your first few months in the new role run smoothly by following these tips.
#1 Get to know the tools available to you
As a new manager, you have a lot of learning to do, but you aren’t alone. Every business, no matter what industry, is making use of the technology it has available for all business functions, from finance to sales. And HR is no different.
There is HR technology out there to help with sourcing, choosing and hiring new talent, networking, the employee experience and managing employee development and expectations.
Artificial Intelligence (AI), Robotics, Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented reality (AR), MR (mixed reality) and other kinds of HR Technology are paving the way for stronger business continuity and company operations
And this HR technology is no longer considered just nice to have. According to a recent survey, 74% of respondents said HR technology is either important or very important.
In this 2019 Global Human Capital Trends survey by accountancy firm Deloitte, 21% rated HR technology as one of the most urgent challenges their business faces right now.
Familiarising yourself with some of these tools is really worthwhile. Ahead of taking up your new role as manager, work out how you might make use of some of this technology and then set about learning how to use it efficiently.
#2 Practise the art of listening
This might sound like a given, but it is one of the most important skills for a manager to master.
You might already consider yourself a good listener. But just being good at listening is not enough. You need to become an active listener.
Active listening is a listening technique that involves the listener fully concentrating, understanding, responding to and remembering what someone has said to you. It’s so vital to be able to do this as a manager as people you manage may come to you with problems, both work-related and personal, and general challenges they are facing at work.
If you know you’re not the best listener, that’s OK. It doesn’t mean you’re not going to be a good manager, but it does mean you’ll have some work to do. Acknowledging that you need to do this is the first step towards succeeding.
#3 Embrace situational leadership
Situational leadership is a model for learning how to manage each employee depending on how much guidance and direction they need.
Part of this is about understanding what the employees you manage go through in their everyday jobs. If you come in at the manager level to a new company it’s worth taking time to get to know this.
You could follow Amazon’s example, since the tech giant insists that every member of the team, including CEOs, spends at least two days a year working on the service desk.
#4 You’re the manager, not a friend
This could be the toughest one yet.
If you’re starting a new manager role it can be very tempting to get friendly with all the people you manage. While that’s totally OK outside of the office, you need to try to keep workplace relationships professional, otherwise you won’t be able to do your job properly, which will disadvantage both yourself and the employee you manage.
Lucy Skoulding is a journalist, content writer and author living in London.
CakeHR is an award-winning HR software company that provides attendance, performance and recruitment management for customers worldwide. More information at www.cake.hr