Whether you’ve been recently promoted or you’re working toward a management position, there will be a learning and adjustment period that all first-time managers experience. As a caution there will be many challenges you will have to address and navigate. Here are 7 tips to help new managers overcome common challenges in the workplace.
Transitioning from Peer to Supervisor
Getting used to authority can be intimidating. You may now oversee friends and peers’ performance and delegate tasks or offer criticism which can feel uncomfortable. Consider your personality, communication preferences and leadership style to help you find the balance of your new authority and strive to facilitate positive relationships with your team.
Managing the Workload
Before you only had to focus on projects and tasks that concerned you. Now you have to look ahead and make sure multiple projects, affecting multiple departments, are getting done efficiently and on time. Understand, you can’t do it all yourself. You will need to delegate certain tasks and responsibilities. Make it a priority to develop your skills to be disciplined in time management, planning, and organization.
Managers need to be able to determine which projects require their attention and which projects should be delegated to their team. Get to know your team, their strengths, weaknesses, and goals. Build trust by giving them the respect and responsibility to do the job they were hired to do without micromanaging their efforts.
Communication is a very important skill that leaders need to develop. Managers will need to regularly initiate conversation across many departments within the organization. Not only does a manager need to make sure tasks are delegated and projects are moving forward, but leaders should also inspire and motivate. Offering feedback, clarifying tasks, resolving conflict are all essential elements to effective communication in the workplace.
Team & Individual Motivation
Managers should provide motivation and encouragement for their team members to meet their deadlines and performance goals. In a study conducted regarding leadership and workplace culture it was noted that, “79% of employees do not feel that their performance is managed in a way that motivates them to do outstanding work and 85% of employees do not feel that the leadership of their organization makes them enthusiastic about the future.” This is where managers can step up and do better. Consider the relationships you can develop with your team, discover the various personalities and traits that inspire and influence real change and growth.
Managing Others and their Performance
Managers need to overcome the discomfort of offering different types of feedback. Having to evaluate performance including quality, performance analytics, and interpersonal skills are necessary skills for the success of the company. Practicing giving feedback will help build your confidence. Learning to navigate different levels of skill, ability, knowledge, or experience is going to take practice and development for yourself as a manager as you strive to hold employees accountable.
It’s necessary to learn effective and proactive methods of conflict resolution between group members and departments. You can allow team members to handle small conflicts on their own, but learning to know when to step in as a superior will take time and practice. Confronting employees can be challenging, but it’s important to listen, communicate across differences in experiences and perspectives and find a resolution that will maximize productivity that will allow colleagues to work together without feeling stressed at work.
There are many challenges that first-time managers will face in their new position. But having the self-awareness to know where you can improve your skills and taking time to develop your skills will help set you up for success in your management positions.