Making the move from team player to manager involves rethinking your approach to work and those you work with.
Your first management role not only means a promotion and an increase in salary, it means coming to terms with new challenges. Moving on from only being responsible for your own work to being responsible for the work of an entire team can be difficult. Here are some tips to prepare new managers for the new demands they will face.
It is typically people that are successful in their roles that get promoted. However, they will be unlikely to succeed if they can’t adapt their approach to suit their new role. A company’s top sale person, for example, will not be a good sales manager unless they stop competing against the rest of the team and start helping them instead. This was reflected in a survey by Badbossology.com which showed that 60% of employees said the most respectable quality in a boss was their ability to help them succeed.
Before you can be a great manager you need to be certain about what you are aiming to accomplish. This means getting a clear understanding of senior management’s expectations of your role. Once you have a definite idea of what is required from you, you can start thinking about your approach, any resources you may need and delivery timescales.
Workplace relationships inevitably change when you move into a management role, particularly if you are managing a team you were once part of. This could cause tensions unless you take steps to establish an appropriate business/friendship balance. Managers can, and should, have friendly relationships with fellow workers from all parts of the company hierarchy, but there must always be a clear distinction between business and friendship.
Delegation is an essential part of management. Key to successful delegation is understanding each individual’s strengths and assisting with questions and concerns. As long as staff are capable of carrying out the work and are clear what needs to be done, the manager’s role is to stay above the minutiae and give their team the freedom to accomplish the work to the best of their abilities.
Being appointed to a managerial role may feel like the pinnacle of your career. In fact, it marks the beginning of a new stage. You will not become a successful manager in an instant, you need to develop your management skills over time. Don’t try to pretend you have the managerial expertise you do not yet possess. Ask for help when you need it and you will gain the respect of both your team and senior management.
You may never have managed a single “direct report” in your life, but that doesn’t mean you lack leadership qualities so if you’re looking for your first management role outside of your existing company, rather than just tweaking your CV you should consider rewriting it and positioning yourself effectively for your new management role. Your work history and achievements should prominent whilst your academic background can probably be scaled back. Remember to highlight your professional training and qualifications.
Remember - Management like numbers! Quantifying your achievements means you can demonstrate the scale of your capabilities. For extra impact, start with the results you obtained, such as: "Increased sales by 20% or cut cost by 10% by streamlining the sales process."
Every professional that moves into a management role for the first time will find the transition daunting. At Parity Professionals, we know exactly the challenges new managers face. Whether you're looking for a new role or expert advice and range of leadership courses – including tailored programmes for woman aspiring to further their careers or development solutions for graduates wishing to enter work at management level – we can ensure your step up to management is a smooth, happy and successful one.