It is well known that for the average worker, always being busy, or simply appearing busy, is regarded as a good thing. Once employees reach managerial level though, this busyness is accompanied by the need to understand and manage colleagues, and ensure they are committed to their job. This extra responsibility can be time-consuming and stressful, and as pointed out by CEB, 60% of new managers fail within the first two years. However, with a bit more effort and planning, it is possible to become a better manager, who is able to manage the workload while also considering the growth and improvements of other employees.
So, here are five points to help you become a better manager:
- Establish the boundary between being “friends” and being “friendly”. As co-workers, your colleagues are your peers, but once you become a manager, the balance within your team will inevitably change. This means that gaining support in your new role may be challenging, particularly if those who report to you are considered friends. Of course, this does not mean you should abandon your friendships (after all, having friends at work helps to keep satisfaction levels high), but you must be careful and tread with caution. As a manager you have to be friendly and sincere, but also ensure that you earn the respect of your employees and become a role model to them.
- Be clear. Good managers help people realise their full potential. The easiest way to do this is to make sure that roles, responsibilities and opportunities are perfectly clear. In fact, clear expectations from management are essential for employees, and contribute to their overall performance. This is why it is important to help your co-workers set performance goals and provide timely, accurate feedback.
- Learn the art of management. Each newly appointed manager will be exposed to new business strategies that they were perhaps unaware of before. The transition can be complicated, but you shouldn’t worry! You will soon become accustomed to the tasks required in your new role. On the one hand, you will be the link between senior managers and employees, and you must learn to share information and concerns about your team with your own manager. On the other hand, you will be responsible for relaying information on vision, performance and company priorities to your new team and ensuring that these are followed.
- Ask for help. You will inevitably find yourself in situations where you won’t know how to manage it – but don’t panic. This is a sign of growth and is not a weakness. Do not be afraid to ask for help from your boss, colleague or another manager. Even high-level executives have sometimes found themselves in trouble, which Is why you should not be ashamed to ask for help.
- Act. Once your role and expectations are defined and they are clear to everyone, you will need to feel confident enough to act. Do not be afraid to make decisions, even if you are worried about making a mistake. Sometimes, making mistakes is the best way to improve yourself. And, if you have built solid and trustworthy relationships with your co-workers and superiors, they will be there to make sure that all of the challenges that your team will face are managed properly.
Being a part of the management team can be intimidating. Not only will you have the responsibility of a group of people, but you also may be worrying about your own professional growth. But if you strive to be honest, communicate clearly and win the trust of others, you will start your new role with the tools to succeed.
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