By Terry Corbell
The Biz Coach
Strategies to Succeed as a New Manager – a Checklist
Congratulations, new manager. Welcome to a job you’ll find most challenging – if you do it right.
You’ll be carefully watched by your staff. You’ll be judged on values demonstrated by your actions.
What values will you show your employees? Will you be a positive role model constantly striving for improvement or will you head in the opposite direction with slipshod actions?
You will set the tone for performance. Basically, that means listening, providing a vision, implementing flawless processes, outlining responsibilities, delegating, treating everyone the same, being approachable, rewarding strong performers, not accepting sub-par work and being proactive on potential problems.
So think about your vision, role and expectations. Better yet, if you want to be imminently successful, know the 10 Key Differences between Leaders and Managers.
Here’s a checklist:
- Understand that it’s your responsibility to know how you’ll be evaluated by your boss in goals and targets.
- Maintain the status quo, and don’t make major changes right away unless your department or company is in a crisis.
- Inspire trust and cooperation in communication. Use positive body language and tone, and actively listen. Earn commitment from employees on common company goals.
- Be visible and walk the floor twice a day to get well acquainted with your team. Budget an aggregate five minutes a week with each person. Ask open-ended questions, and for input for the benefit of the company. Learn their individual aspirations, and give them support. Be courteous. Note: The words, “please” and “thank you” should be used in a majority of your communications – verbally or written.
- Treat employees as valued human capital. Demonstrate your empathy about their career and life balance. In essence, use the Golden Rule. Treat your employees as you would like to be treated. Power Your Brand with Employee Empowerment, and consider the 15 HR Strategies to Improve Your Business Performance. Explain to employees you don’t want to be the last to learn of negative news.
- Don’t give personal advice.
- Articulate the company’s strategic mission, and explain expectations to your employees about how their performances fit in the big picture.
- Explain your preferences for communication – regularly timed reports or frequent updates – in group meetings and one-to-one conversations.
- Make development and training a priority with a view to the future. Continual growth for each staff member is paramount in this new economy. Mobility counts; successful businesses are agile and adapt to the dynamics of the ever-changing marketplace. Focus on solutions to problems.
- Share your logic in decision-making processes. Explain concepts and principles to your workers, so they can feel involved and valued, and can be pro-active and take ownership of their work.
- Get to know your management peers for a diversity of thought. Capitalize on their experiences, strengths and hopes for success. Keep an open mind. Consider different approaches in analyzing problems.
- Find a mentor – someone who is successful in areas that you need improvement.
- Delegate. Avoid burnout. Use effective time management. Remember that whenever you fail to delegate on mundane tasks, this means you have a very expensive employee. Try to save your time and energy for critical thinking and strategic planning.
- Manage by exception. Learn how much autonomy you can accord your employees. Don’t micromanage, but get involved on problems.
- Be generous with your praise on performance and innovation. After all, employees are making you look good.
- Reward results, not busywork. Rewards should be reserved for impactful results. Know the 12 Errors to Avoid in Evaluations.
- Promote humor and fun. Don’t be a stress carrier. Your employees will feel it.
- Know when to cut your losses. If a project looks as though it won’t be successful, know when and how to pull the plug.
- Get to know your other stakeholders. Explain your expectations to vendors, and ask for input from your customers.
- Stay current on all employment laws and regulations, especially about discrimination and harassment. Prevention is important. Should they rear their ugly heads, follow the right protocols. That goes for all interviews and pre-employment tests. It’s true that Many Big Companies Are Ripe for EEOC Complaints.
- Document everything that might prove to be sensitive. Establish a paper trail.
- Keep an open mind if there’s conflict among your workers. Don’t react, respond.
- Stay on top of all technology that affects your business.
- Dress for success – professionally – as though you’re being considered for your next management gig.
- Always look ahead. When you’re ready, here are 7 Tips for a Young Professional to Become a CEO.
From the Coach’s Corner, here are more management resource links:
- 20 Tell-Tale Signs – If You’re Under-Performing as a Manager
- 21 Quick Tips to Avoid the Dark Side of Management
- Profit By Not Letting Your Stars Become Free Agents
- HR Management: Which Employees Are Most-Likely to Quit?
- Strategies: If a Valued Employee Wants a Raise, and Money’s Tight
“Good management is the art of making problems so interesting and their solutions so constructive that everyone wants to get to work and deal with them.”
Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.