How to be a great manager from day one
Published: 26 Feb 2016 By Georgina Bloomfield
So, you’ve got the promotion you worked so hard for and now you want to make sure you do a good job of being a manager from the very beginning. You don’t want to mess it up or come across as the inexperienced one to your peers – and especially the ones who you’ll be managing. I have some good tips below on how to be a good manager from day one – great for managers who don’t have as much experience as they’d like.
Trust is a huge skill to have and develop as part of being a manager. Lots of managers become bad managers when they don’t trust their employees. A great example of trust is Sir Richard Branson. If you work for him, you can have as many holiday days as you like per year. Some may say that this is a little excessive but it isn’t. It makes you want to work even though you have the option to be out of the office. You have the opportunity to show your loyalty to your manager because your manager has shown their trust in you from day one. Trust can be taken advantage of, and this is an unfortunate part of being a manager. You may, from time to time, come across those who have taken advantage of your trust – but being a good manager is knowing how to deal with those who you trust and those who you don’t.
Manage your personality
Before you manage other people, learn how to manage your personality first. Managers who become over-emotional and criticise too much become bad managers. Part of good management is learning how to be more tolerant of other people as well as having the capability to understand and empathise with your employees. This will in turn make you far more approachable as a manager and as an employee of the company as a whole.
Another part of being a good manager is knowing how to be flexible. Being flexible is combining your newly-found tolerance for others with your ability to trust. Allow your employees to be flexible and you’ll be surprised in what you get in return. So what if someone is five minutes late due to traffic? Trust that they will make that time up themselves before dictating their punishment. You should want your employees to be as happy as they can be because they’ll be at their most productive when they’re at their happiest.
Communication is a vital part of being a good manager. Keeping those in the loop where needed via email and making sure you touch base with everyone who needs to know certain information can be incredibly useful and add priceless value to you as a manager. A manager who buries their head in the sand when the going gets tough isn’t going to last very long themselves. Sometimes you will have to deliver bad news to your colleagues – it’s an unfortunate element to the role. But if you can communicate effectively and honestly, it makes the job a whole lot easier. If you struggle with effective communication, there are lots of training courses you can have a go at to improve this skill. Many companies won’t give a promotion to you without giving you some support, so be sure to ask your HR team what they have to offer you.
Have you ever been in a job where you just couldn’t stand your manager? What was it about this manager that really got to you? Was it their dictating style of managing people, or did they often upset your colleagues? Did they have a lack of understanding and trust for you? Think back to when you had a bad experience; after all, most of us have – and see what it is you can do as a new manager to make sure you don’t become one of your old enemies!
Patronising managers are the worst. Most of the time they don’t know how patronising they’re being because they simply want to help. But, have you been in a situation with a manager before and felt really micro-managed and/or patronised? Trust that your employees know how to do their job and not have you do it for them. Of course they should be able to approach you when they need to, but you need to avoid micro-managing at all costs!
Knowledge is key
Knowledge is key- and what you need to do is make sure you know as much as possible about the company you work for. Chances are that you did your homework to get the promotion in the first place. But see what other departments are doing – what are their budgets and targets? How does your department compare financially to others’? Knowing what’s going on elsewhere will help you with your communication skills with other managers and your awareness of where you fit into the rest of the company. You can delegate your employees to do some effective collaborative work with other departments and this may well be in your favour further down the line.
Networking is vital to good management. Go to networking events as much as possible to see what others in your industry are doing, and how you can make your department even better. Get a contact base of other managers in other companies so you can ask them for advice if you get a good relationship with them. Do you have any mentors in mind? Mentoring in the workplace is very useful for a multitude of reasons; reasons that will make you a really good manager who’s on top of his/her game.
Love your job and accept the mistakes
It’s inevitable that as a new manager you will make mistakes from time to time, and that’s fine. The best managers admit to their mistakes and solve the problem as quickly as possible. It’s not uncommon for your team to have the occasional problem with you, but as long as they can approach you about it and they know you’re diplomatic, this is the best situation to be in. As long as you have a passion for the job that you do and you still love your job, you’ll continue to be a motivated and excellent manager!