Home » General » Tips for a New Manager [column]

Imagine you have just been appointed the new manager at your company. The promotion may have been long coming, but it has happened eventually. It could not have come at a better time like now the beginning of the year. You have signed your contract of acceptance and many thoughts flood your mind as you sit on that big chair in the big office.

And guess what, all those duties you took for granted – the interviewing, the hiring, training strategy, motivation strategy, appraisals, discipline, and firing is now your responsibility.

This is the time to refocus, you probably used to complain about how nippy your boss is with your colleagues, now it’s you they will complain about.

Do not make the mistake of taking on too much. Most newly appointed managers are often overly ambitious and tend to take on too much work.

If you do, you run the risk of burning out quickly. You must appreciate that you are now a manager, your success is not dependent on your efforts alone but on team work and team achievement.

Do not at any moment think that you can achieve everything by yourself. Some managers get into the trap of scrutinising and watching every function.

Your role is to set up systems that ensure that by the time information gets to you, it will be processed for your analysis.

Your knowledge management will inform you that at this point, raw data may take up too much time for you.

As a new manager, you will start dealing with individuals that come from different cultures, generations, personalities, and ambitions. Remember that some of these may be more entrenched, experienced, and talented than you.

Just because you are the manager does not mean you know it all. I have dealt with the most difficult and obnoxious people in my management profession.

I hardly slept the first week I was promoted as a manager. With time, I put my foot down, I started believing more and more that my appointment was not a mistake.

One of my mentors used to say that being promoted into management heralds some of the loneliest experiences of your career, the higher you go, the lonely it becomes, it becomes so cool if not cold when you are up there.

Your initial port of call may be to relax and call for a meeting with your immediate managers. Take time to know people that surround you, these are the people that can make or break you.

I have discovered that regular staff meetings are helpful, they help you to communicate what you want to achieve together with your subordinates.

There are some people that you will need to hold one-on-one meetings with to get to know their individual opinion and characters, which will help you to settle and assign roles and tasks.

Many new managers are often under pressure to match or surpass the standard set by their predecessor, so they initially leave work late and are the first to arrive.

The pressure is on day after day. In leadership you should expect the spotlight to be on you, because there are people watching and evaluating you and waiting for you to slip up.

Despite these pressures, ensure that you keep your cool. Don’t let the new role get to your head. Remember that you are a manager not a slave driver. Power has been known to bring out the worst in people, gain respect from people, don’t force them to respect you.

Take care to work yourself with the organisational culture you are working in. Innovativeness is always encouraged but make sure that you work within the limits of your organisation. You may be frustrated if you try to introduce a new way of doing things.

Planning what you wish to achieve will assist you settle down. Before you discuss your plans with the employees, take time to present them to your supervisor and have it signed off, by the time you present it to the other peers, you already will have the buy in of other managers and confidence that you are not too far off from the existing structures.

As you go on this journey, take time to evaluate yourself. It helps to check how far you have gone to achieve your goals as a new manager.

Management styles are not cast and stone, if you notice flaws within your initial strategy, don’t be afraid to change it. Take charge and be aware that you are a manager. You will be required to handle disciplinary issues and shift people that may not be sharing the same vision with you.

You have key result areas that you need to achieve and if those are not achieved, you will be in trouble with your superiors.

If there are employees that fail to perform to your expectations, simply replace them. Presumably, this was one of the hardest things I have had to do in my career.

Dictatorship has never sustainably worked for most managers, it may work initially but its sustainability is questionable. If you focus less on the power you have you would do well. Respect is never demanded, it’s gained. Most charismatic leaders have worked their way into people hearts by diplomacy.

Till next week, may God richly bless you!

Shelter Chieza is a management consultant. She holds over a decade of management experience .She can be contacted at shelter.chieza@gmail.com

Source : The Herald