There’s a lot to consider once you achieve management status. Not only are you thinking about staying under budget and coordinating schedules, but also developing talent and managing personalities. It can be stressful, and if you’ve never been in a management position before, the learning curve is steep—there’s a lot at risk, but it will save you a lot of time and energy if you can learn lessons from the mistakes of others. Here’s what experienced managers wished they knew when they first attained their management roles.
Get acquainted early
Earn the trust and respect of your staff when you’re friendly with them and you treat them as peers instead of your subordinates. Get to know them on a personal level and inquire about their professional aspirations. Casual conversations make people feel more at ease and they help create stronger bonds.
But be the boss
Ultimately, though, remember that you’re the boss, not a friend. They don’t have to like you and vice versa, but they should respect and trust you. Your role is to partner with them to help them succeed. Aside from that, you need to make sure you set boundaries between your employees’ personal lives and what happens at work. You should care about their well-being but recognize when personal problems affect their performance at work. If you want to support them, you can help them access resources for family therapy or other employee assistance benefits.
Be consistent and fair
If you want to your employees to trust and respect you, you need to treat them fairly, holding each person’s work to the same set of standards. Your team needs to know where they stand and what you expect from them, so they can do their best to deliver. Your criteria for bonuses and promotions, as well as your decision-making process should be transparent. Be honest and explain your rationale. You don’t have to go into a lot of detail, but your employees will want to know what you’re looking for so they can strive to be successful.
Set clear goals together
If you’re being transparent, make sure you’re helping your employees to clearly set goals. This will keep them focused, give you a means by which to evaluate them, and help define what success looks like for each role. Good goals should be specific, achievable, and measurable. The best goals are ones that you set together with your team. If they have a say in what they’re working towards, they’ll be more engaged, work harder, and be more loyal to their job and the company.
Don’t try to prove yourself
You don’t need to have all the answers, it’s okay to admit when you don’t know something. You can seek advice from your colleagues or consult someone above you to find solutions and explore new ideas.
For more tips on developing a team that helps power your company towards sustainable growth, reach out to Focus of Georgia.