After putting in the effort and hard work, you’ve been promoted to manager. Congratulations! You should be incredibly proud of this accomplishment. Amid all the excitement, you might also be feeling some nerves. You’ve taken on a lot more responsibility and people will be both turning to you for advice and watching you like a hawk to see what you’ve got. Here are five tips to help you be an effective boss and make sure what is said about you at the water cooler skews positive.
- Implement small changes that will make work life more enjoyable and increase productivity. Don’t come in and alter everything, as transition takes time and can be frustrating for employees. Look at the little things that can be done that employees will benefit from, thus increasing their respect and overall work ethic for you. Are there common complaints that you see a solution for? Do it. Maybe they didn’t feel heard before and this is your chance to build a solid foundation with them. Maybe you were one of them before your promotion. Think of things that frustrated you and try to seek ways to fix them. Another great way to find out how employees feel is to hold a meeting and get some feedback - you can even leave the room and assign one person to gather information and talk to you about it. People will be more forthcoming if it’s anonymous. This can give you an excellent idea of what employees are looking for in a manager
- Rather than come in with a reign of terror, come in with realistic expectations. Ruling with fear breeds resentment rather than respect and can actually cause people to work less diligently for you. When assigning tasks or doling out instruction, be realistic about the outcome. Is this deadline far too short? Will this workload mean someone will be stuck working seventy hours next week? Maybe that’s not the best way to start out. Empathy and positive reinforcement can go a long way.
- Take stock of your employees’ strengths and weaknesses. Everyone has mixtures of both and hopefully one person’s strength can make up for someone else’s weakness. Then you can plan accordingly to make sure everyone is productive and doing their equal share, while possibly doing more of what they enjoy. If an employee is having a difficult time, work with them on their professional development. You never know what one or two helpful conversations can do.
- Implement your own management system, but avoid micromanaging. Try to think of a system that will work for everyone without you having to hover around and tell people what to do all the time. Ask yourself what is necessary and what is over the top. You should have the people skills as a manager to figure out if you’re being helpful or just telling someone something they already know and thus, wasting both of your time.
- Remember that respect is earned, not automatically given. You might have to prove yourself a bit for people to put their faith in you and that’s okay. You also need to remember that you’re a human and you’re learning as well. You will make mistakes and you will learn from them. You’ve earned your position for a reason; someone saw leadership in you. You’ve got this.