It's only natural that your initial reactions upon receiving the news that you've earned a managerial role should bring joy, pride and excitement. Your capability and contribution has been recognised and you have been rewarded with a position of significant responsibility. However, the transition from team member to manager can be a daunting prospect for those who have not fulfilled a similar role before. The rules have changed; instead of acting upon instructions and tasks that have been delegated to you, now you must assign duties to the employees within your charge, and manage them effectively to ensure that goals are met.
Most employers will arrange formal management training for newly-appointed managers but this rarely takes place before the new manager has assumed their role; depending upon circumstances you may be in post for several weeks before placement on a suitable management training course can be arranged. Stepping up to the mark as a new line manager therefore requires the ability to swiftly appraise the requirements of the new role, working with your new team to address them efficiently and effectively. Although you may feel as though you've been 'thrown in at the deep end', your own manager, peer colleagues and your team should all be there to provide guidance, help and advice to help you through any initial period before you receive formal management training.
Now that you are a manager yourself, your team, colleagues and superiors will have certain expectations of you. There are a number of strategies you can employ to ensure that you begin your management career on the right foot. Holding introductory meetings with each member of your new team on a one-to-one basis will help to establish working relationships, air any concerns that team members have and enable you to assess each individual's strengths and any potential opportunities for their personal development.
It's vital that a newly-appointed line manager doesn't use their recently-acquired status to alienate their team or inadvertently foster resentment. Elevation to management does not justify a boastful ego-trip, being overly dictatorial or for levelling unjust criticism. As a manager, you are still part of a team and your role is to facilitate and motivate your staff to make the best job of completing the tasks at hand.
Similarly, it's inadviseable to try to create an impression by making sweeping changes to existing processes before you fully understand how they fit into the larger scheme of things. However, making your goals, expectations and intentions clear from the start and laying general ground rules can help to avoid misunderstandings and problems later on. Always include your team in any decision-making process that may affect them or their ability to carry out their role, inviting them to add their own opinions and suggestions to any discussion. Openly demonstrating that you value your staff and their contributions fosters loyalty and productivity.
Finally, in your first days and weeks as a new line manager never be afraid or too proud to ask for help. Nobody immediately knows everything there is to know about a new role, and seeking guidance is not a sign of weakness. Keeping an open mind and facing every challenge with optimism and good humour are traits that will shape and influence your team's approach to their tasks.
On-the-job management training is a hugely beneficial means of gaining the skills and experience most pertinent to your role. Nevertheless, for first-time line managers who lack prior experience, this should be supplemented by formal management training such as provided by our Essentials for Managers course. Investing delegates with best-practice skills and knowledge in management principles including delegation, setting objectives, performance management, leadership, motivation and effective communication, this comprehensive management training course provides a solid foundation for new managers to build upon.