Many leaders skip over the basics of team building in a rush to start achieving goals. Getting people to work together isn’t easy and the actions of a first-time manager in first few weeks and months can have a major impact on whether the team will ultimately deliver results or not. Whether taking over an existing team or starting a new one, it’s critical to devote time and energy to establishing how the manager wants the team to work, not just what you want them to achieve. Being a first-time manager, you may have some special challenges if the people reporting to you were previously your colleagues and may be even good friends. You already have a relationship and it is a good thing and now you are accountable for providing clear, useful and meaningful feedback to these people. Below are the points which shows what a first-time manager is expected.
- Clearly understand the deliverables
Do clearly understand what you and your team is accountable for delivering. Often this is assumed and not clearly discussed. Take the time to listen to what your team members want to achieve and how they can achieve it.
- Communicate Frequently
Clearly and frequently communicate with your team regarding progress and their perceptions. Encourage open dialogue and listen to your Teams’ ideas, issues and concerns. Give them freedom to get the work done while still being available for guidance.
- Being Engaged
Be sincerely engaged and interested in learning the person’s perspective when listening to your team. It is important to get to know your team members and colleagues, as people with lives outside of work as well as at work. Building good relationships with everyone will make your work and their work easier and more productive.
Provide immediate feedback to employees for work performed. Your job is to bring out the best in yourself and your employees. Provide specific, useful and meaningful feedback to your employees on a consistent basis. Feedback is useful and meaningful when it is
- timely – provided immediately or very soon after the performance or behaviour has occurred.
- clear and delivered in a caring manner
- easy to understand and act upon.
- Commit to continuous learning
Engage a senior manager to be your mentor, seek out management training. There is no single recipe for good management that works for everyone in the same way. Being yourself and learning more about best practices in management will help you develop your knowledge and skills to be a great manager. Managing other people is an art and a science and can be very rewarding.
First opportunity to manage people is often challenging. However, it can also be very rewarding, leading to a great career. There are pitfalls in managing people that you want to avoid, but more important is to practice and hone your skills around providing clarity, building relationships, communicating with everyone and bringing focus and meaning to the work.