Do’s and Don’ts of becoming a new manager

Do’s and Don’ts of becoming a new manager

Janice McBrown 2nd November 2020

Congratulations, you’re a new manager!  If you’ve been promoted to management for the first time, then you must be excited and raring to go.  And it might feel a bit daunting to know where to start.

The transition from an individual team member to a manager can be hard. One of the first thing to get to grips with is that instead of doing the work yourself, you need to get work done through others. And that changes everything.  Whilst a small number of us are naturally gifted leaders and managers for most it means there is a learning curve ahead.

What is management?

Management is decision-making processes used to manage resources in the most efficient way to achieve organisational objectives. Management involves planning, prioritising and checking that the right work is being achieved.  Effective management skills are about recognising the power of your people and developing their potential to help fulfil an organisation’s purpose and mission. In a recent blog post we published a handy A-Z guide to management skills that you can download.

Where do you start? Here are a few do’s and don’ts to get you started on your role as a new manager. 

Five Do’s of becoming a new manager

Do: Think about the team success

Now that you are managing a team, put the common good first.  When your team is successful, you are successful, so there’s no need to separate yourself from your team.  There is no greater feeling that watching others grow, learn and succeed because of your management.

Do: Learn How to Delegate

As a new manager you want to make a good impression. But trying to do all of it yourself will quickly lead to burnout. You have a great team of people working for you, so get to know them as individuals, understand their strengths and delegate.

Do: Be encouraging.

You are your team’s biggest cheerleader. Even your highest performing team members need to know they are doing a great job.  Find ways to regularly thank them for good work, let them know they are appreciated and a valuable part of the team.  

Do: Be confident.

Your actions, body language and behaviour will be replicated by your team.  If you are feeling uncertain or worried, your team will be too.  Even during times of uncertainty, it is important to install a sense of security and confidence in your team.  Stay calm, confident and honest, and they will stay with you.

Do: Ask for help and support

Being a new manager is a learning curve for most of us.  As you begin your management development journey, make sure to you have the support of your own line manager and your HR department.  Talk to them, find out about the process and policies for managing people, understand what their expectations are of you as a line manager.   Don’t be afraid to ask for support either through you or other managers, or through external coaching/mentoring and a development programme.

Five Don’ts of becoming a new manager

Don’t: Run before you walk

As a new manager the temptation to dive in headfirst is understandable.  But try to avoid making major changes or over promising until you have understood what’s going on for your team, both as individuals and within your organisation.

Don’t: Micromanage

We all know the statement “people leave managers, not organisations” and micromanaging is a common complaint about managers from their team.  If you micromanage your team, you will spend a lot of time doing it and it benefits no one. 

Don’t: Do it all by yourself

It’s ok to not have all the answers. If you are a new, or experienced manager, try to build a network with other managers, inside and outside your organisation.  Ask them questions about their role, how they deal with situations and ask them for help if you need to.  Both internal and external networks can give you the perspective you need to inform your work.

Don’t try to be the one that knows everything

As we already know, you are your team’s biggest cheer leaders but that doesn’t mean that you are the one that has to be the expert.  Let your team be visible as the experts that they are already

Don’t: Avoid conflict

Conflict exists and there is no getting away from it.  As a new manager, you play a crucial role in creating a safe and productive working environment for your whole team.  The challenge of conflict lies in how you choose to deal with it. Avoiding or ignoring it means it will only get worse.

Roffey Park Institute can help you with your management development needs.  Our Essential Management Skills programme is aimed at building the foundational skills for becoming an effective people manager. 

You can also read more about the difference between Management and Leadership in our article and download an A-Z Guide to use in your everyday management practice.