Advice for new managers

Becoming a manager of a team for the first time can be daunting. Whether you are managing one person or many there will be new challenges to face. One of the key challenges for new managers is the realisation that you will now be responsible for the performance of other people. Some organisations offer little or no support in taking on this important part of your new role. Here are some tips that can help. Tips to help new managers Understand the bigger picture: where does your team’s work (or the work of those you manage) fit into your organisation’s overall objectives? Are you clear about what you need to achieve, the measures of success and the agreed timeframe? Are you clear about your own key priorities? Be clear about your level of accountability: that is how much freedom do you have to act? What decisions can you take? What needs to go back to your manager? Consider the same for your team – what level of freedom to act can you give your team? Delegate tasks wherever possible: both to free up your time but also to develop your team.  Delegating according to the task and the skills, experience and knowledge of the person involved. Refuse to accept poor work: set high standards and make this clear to those you manage. Don’t do the work yourself! Find and be open to ways to develop yourself and your team through challenging new experiences that stretch and grow skills and knowledge. Address issues when they arise and in an appropriate way. Seek advice when you need to. Following your organisation’s procedures such as your disciplinary procedures. Ensure that you have regular and timely communication with your manager and your team or those you manage.  This can include regular one to one meetings with the staff you manage resulting in agreed actions which are then delivered on time.  Admit mistakes when they happen and learn from them. Get to know the people you manage. Think about: How they work at their best? What they want/need to be told?   What motivates them? Where do they want to go (their future aspirations)?  What skills gaps do they appear to have & what is the best way of addressing them?   Get to know your manager. Think about: how they prefer to work. Some people work best when under pressure of deadlines, others like to plan ahead.  Find out how they work and what you need to do to support them and meet their needs. what they want/need to be told? And how (by email, in person?) and when? Managers also need a range of new skills and knowledge. Have a look at these other sections on KnowHow: delegation skills making meetings work managing staff managing volunteers building teams.

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