Management January 6, 2016 Last updated September 18th, 2018 1,865 Reads share

How to Help a First Time Manager Survive

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You’ve gone through the lengthy process of interviewing, vetting and interviewing some more. Now, you’ve hired a manager to help your business succeed.

Although you’re excited by your new hire, you might also be nervous – especially if this is a first-time manager.

The managerial role is a difficult one. There are lofty goals to live up to and big shoes to fill. Employees might be apprehensive about the new person coming in to lead. The new manager might be nervous about how capable he is in this new role. To ease the inevitable tension, it’s important to train first time managers from the get-go.

How to Help First Time Managers Survive

Here are a few tips to get your first-time manager started out with strength so he can avoid burnout and frustration.

Define Expectations

Perhaps your new manager arrived in his new role by working his way up the ladder. Or perhaps he is completely new to your company. In either case, never assume he knows what is expected of him. Define what you hope he will help you achieve as clearly as possible.

Clear expectations make your first time manager’s job easier. It helps him know whether he’s on the right track with his team or if he needs to refocus his management efforts to a new area.

By keeping the job description, goals and objectives clear up front, you make it easier for your new manager to start off on the right foot.

Don’t Leave Him in the Dark

To make your manager feel more in control in his new role, give him access to the tools he needs to perform well.

Certain apps and programs show your managers more details to help them perform better. For example, give your new manager access to your sales numbers and he’ll know where him and his team stand in terms of performance. Give your new manager access to the schedule and he can see who he has helping him on each shift.

The more information your new manager has to work with, the better equipped he is to perform his best.

Schedule Regular Meetings and Reviews

In the beginning, your new manager will have a lot of self-doubt. He will wonder if he’s doing his job correctly or if he is living up to your expectations. He will want to know about company procedures and processes. And, he’ll have his own set of feedback to give about the position he’s in.

By holding regular meetings, you create an open door policy. You let him ask his questions and give him a forum to offer feedback. Giving him this opportunity makes him feel more accountable in his role and more invested in his success. It also eliminates the self-doubt by letting him know where he’s doing well and where you’d like him to focus his efforts.

Give Him Flexibility

Working with a new team is difficult. Often, the team was assembled before the manager took the role. They already have their internal dynamics figured out. Your new manager does not.

Give him flexibility to make changes or updates he feels will better the team. Let him introduce new measures to help the team grow. The more leeway he has with his team, the more he can establish his new position as the person in charge.

This will help develop accountability. It will also shorten the transition time between newbie and manager.

Let Him Advance His Skillset

The managerial role is one of the most important. The person who holds this role must have a strong skillset. He will lead by example and he will teach his employees how to succeed. To help him in this journey, it’s important to give him the opportunity to further advance his skillset.

Trainings, classes, or conferences are an excellent way to make this happen. By letting the new manager attend, you show you are invested in his long-term success. This will help him become more accountable to your company and utilize his talents in the best way possible. Ultimately, when he succeeds, your business will reap the benefits.

Encourage Team Bonding

Many managers shy away from establishing the “friend” role with employees. A first-time manager is especially prone to this. He worries that by stepping into the role of a friendship with his employees no one will take him seriously. Too often this leads to over management tactics and less acceptance by teammates, making it harder to get the job done well.

To help your first-time manager, encourage him to embrace team bonding. If it’s in your budget, let him take his team out for happy hour after work one day. Or, host a special welcome party to break down the walls and have his team interact with him outside of work hours.

It’s equally important you tell your new manager why you’re doing this. You want to set the tone that you do not expect him to be a dictator but rather a confidant.

Teach Delegation

One of the best lessons you can teach your new manager is delegation.

Many new managers feel a heavy weight on their shoulders. They know there are big shoes to fill and they want to impress you.

With a first-time manager, this weight feels even heavier. He has a lot to prove since this is his first time in this new role. Because of that, he might take on more duties than necessary himself.

Teach your new manager the power of delegation. This will help him feel more at ease in his role. Stress the importance of him overseeing everyone instead of doing everyone’s jobs. This way, he will feel less pressure to overperform. Your employees will appreciate the delegation because it shows trust. Your new manager will also appreciate being able to delegate because he will not get burnt out on the job as quickly. Everyone wins.

Takeaways

For a new manager to succeed, it’s vital he has direction, clarity and support from upper management. For a first-time manager, this is even more important than usual.

Use the introduction period to show your newest leader what you expect from him and how you anticipate him succeeding in his role. The more you can do this, the more you will strengthen your overall team and have a positive new hire experience.

Images “Close up black pen writes new management on paper /  Shutterstock.com

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Jon Forknell

Jon Forknell

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