A new manager has quite a few challenges in front of them. If they aren’t careful they can start there managerial position out in the wrong way. It can be difficult to provide a checklist of the things that a person should watch out for as every business runs differently. While offices are different, there are certain things that a new manager has to watch out for and the following are just a few things to monitor to make sure your first few months as a manager go smoothly.
With technology at everyone’s fingertips it has become difficult to tell if someone is working or just checking their social media accounts with an intense look. Time theft is defined by Epay Systems as “Time theft is when an employee accepts pay for time they have not actually put into their work. From fudging time sheets to using work time for play time—whenever employees are on the clock but not on the job, they’re stealing time. Time theft can be hard to detect. It comes in many forms and many levels of severity. Employers pay the price via inflated payroll and lost productivity.”
The most egregious time theft in the United States occurs when the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament takes place in March. Last year’s estimate of lost money was around 2 billion dollars because of people eating up bandwidth and watching games while at work. While you won’t ever be able to completely eliminate time theft during March Madness, consider not allowing office pools for a few reasons.
Obviously it can cause a distraction but it also becomes hard to enforce a March Madness free office if you have filled out a bracket. Installing time tracking software on computers is a great way to combat time theft. It is not only beneficial for detecting time theft but it is also a great way to see how the highest performers in the company approach their work.
People Treating You Like a Friend Rather Than a Manager
There might come a time when you are promoted and become the boss of a few of your friends. This can become very uncomfortable especially if your friends take advantage of the fact that you are the new boss. A great saying for a manager that has friends in the office is “If you’d rather be fair than liked, then as a manager you are doing the right thing.” Do not give friend preferential treatment as this can cause other employees to feel like they are being left out or not treated fairly.
The same goes for giving promotions in the office. A friend might be up for a promotion but there is someone else in the office that is more deserving. One way to help solve this is to ask a high level employee to review the candidates qualifications and experience to see which one they would pick. In this case, if your friend is passed up for a promotion, you know that it was for good reason rather than you being too hard on your friend.
The work hard and play hard mantra is adopted at many startups and even established businesses. While there is nothing wrong with this being an office mantra, there is a line that can be crossed if you aren’t too careful. There are quite a few things that can go wrong with the company happy hour turning into an all-night bender. The first issue that you encounter is the possibility of interoffice romance because a few too many drinks were had. This can become a HR nightmare especially if someone hooks up with a superior. Company sponsored happy hours can be fun but they can also leave a company liable if appropriate measures are not taken.
There will come a time in most people’s professional lives where a coworker has a substance abuse problem. It is possible that previous managers might have turned a blind eye just as long as the person was doing their day to day job. The problem with turning a blind eye is that it is probably known by others in the workplace that this person comes into work drunk or high and it almost becomes impossible to reprimand anyone for doing so if one person is excused to do so.
Drug testing in the office has seen a drop in failed tests since the 1980’s but it is still important to institute a testing program. Failure to do so can put a business at risk of customers leaving because of interactions with high or drunk employees or even worse, an employee could steal from the company to fund their habit.
People Second Guessing You Publicly
There might be changes that are instituted once you become manager to help optimize things or organize things differently. There will be push back if you are changing processes that have been done for years. While it is important to listen to the feedback of employees it is important to let everyone know that negativity shouldn’t be broadcast to the entire office. If somebody has a problem with a new policy or process, it is important to address this person in a private meeting rather than publicly as public confrontation might not go well if you are not assertive enough.
Let everyone know that you respect their opinions but any negativity about things shouldn’t be publicly expressed. This not only makes others second guess a plan but it can hurt the morale of the entire office. If somebody is in a slump make an active effort to help them as slumps can be contagious especially in a sales office as great sales teams feed off of the success of others closing deals.
A new job is never easy and this compounds when you are in charge of a small or large group. Decisions that are made on a daily basis by managers can have a huge impact on the company as a whole. Don’t let any of these things creep up and end up hurting your professional career.
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