As you transition from an individual team member to a manager, you will have much to learn and navigate. Jumping into a more senior role and managing a team and tasks is a big responsibility, and it can be challenging but also incredibly rewarding. So if you’re a newly appointed manager or looking to take the next step in your career, we have some critical points to make. Here are some of the key do’s and don’ts for emerging managers to help you get started. AKA the Top 5, as we don’t want to bombard you.
Building strong relationships with your team members and additional stakeholders is crucial to your success as a manager. Get to know each person individually and make time for one-on-one conversations. Be transparent, honest, and approachable. When your team feels heard and valued, they will be more engaged and productive.
Set Clear Expectations
Ensure your team knows what is expected of them. Set clear goals, deadlines, and performance metrics. Be specific about what success looks like and communicate these expectations clearly. Hold team members accountable for their work and ensure they meet expectations or provide enough time and sound reasoning as to why expectations weren’t met.
Give your team regular feedback, both positive and constructive. Recognise their accomplishments and celebrate their successes. Provide guidance and support when needed and be willing to have difficult conversations when necessary.
Communication is critical to successful management. Be clear, concise, and direct in your communication. Listen actively and ask questions to ensure that you understand what your team members are saying.
Lead by Example
As a manager, you are a role model for your team. Lead by example and set the tone for the team’s culture. Talk to your team and seek their feedback as well as from your peers on how you are managing to ensure you’re creating healthy habits to become a great leader. Understand the advantages of knowing your management style to identify areas to adjust and develop. Show your team what it means to be accountable, responsible, and proactive.
Micromanaging can be counterproductive and demotivating. Avoid hovering over your team members and trust them to do their jobs. Instead, focus on providing support and resources to help them succeed. If you have a new team, you may be hands-on at first to understand their capabilities and to build trust. Once you’re both comfortable, you can loosen the reins, so to speak.
Avoid playing favourites with your team members. Treat everyone fairly and equally, and make decisions based on merit and performance. Playing favourites can create resentment and damage morale. Understand vs. friend relationship and establish boundaries so lines don’t get blurred.
As a manager, it’s important to address conflicts head-on. Be bold in difficult conversations or ignore issues that arise. Instead, address conflicts proactively and work with your team to find solutions. If addressing conflict or difficult behaviours is something you find you put off or are uncomfortable with, look into upskilling in this area. Pathways Australia offers a great one-day course on this important topic.
One of your responsibilities as a manager is to help your team members grow and develop. Don’t ignore this responsibility. Provide opportunities to enhance productivity and increase retention and morale for the organisation and for your team to learn new skills, take on new challenges, and advance their careers.
Lose Sight of the Big Picture
It’s easy to get bogged down in day-to-day tasks and lose sight of the big picture. As a manager, it’s important to stay focused on the organisation’s and the team’s goals. Ensure that your team’s work is aligned with these goals and that you are progressing towards them.
In conclusion, being an effective manager takes time, effort, and dedication. You can set yourself and your team up for success by following these do’s and don’ts. Remember to be patient with yourself, and always be willing to learn and grow as a manager. Good luck with your new journey!
If you’re looking for more support to transition into your new management role, Pathways Australia offers an Emerging Managers course, both in-person and online. This course has seen over 10,000 attendees and is the most popular course on offer.