Managing for the first time is potential minefield. The pressure is on you to show off why you were put in that position, but at the same time you have to keep in mind the direct subordinates you are working with. You can try to be a people person, or a tyrant, the choice is yours. However, if you intend to succeed in the task of managing people, it would be a better idea to look for an approach that is somewhere in the middle of those two extremes. Instead of trying to be a super-boss, what you ought to do is approach the position with a bit of balance and perspective and remember how things were back when you were subordinate to someone else.
Focus on your Employees
According to Forbes, Richard Branson, CEO of the Virgin Atlantic group of companies, underscores that employees should come first in any successful business and the five billion dollar net worth of Virgin shows that he knows what he's talking about. One of the best ways to do this is to build rapport with your immediate employees, but not in a general, meeting atmosphere. Making it personal by having a one-on-one with them can give insight into what you need to do to support an employee like that. Share their vision for the group, and then mesh your own vision for the group into it, that way they feel more welcome to voice their opinions and their suggestions for improvement.
Mentoring From the Top Down
The Center for Creative Leadership notes that mentoring benefits not just those who are being mentored but also the leader that is mentoring them in a positive way. First-time managers can use this mentorship to learn new ways of dealing with problems and learn from the expertise of their employees as they impart understanding about their position and their previous experience that made them suitable for it. Accepting that everyone may have something to teach is a good place to begin since it encourages a leader to be humble. For many employees this is new to them, and it is likely to gain the leader some respect.
Don't Stretch to Accommodate
A leader is a noticeable figure and people usually have their eyes on him or her at all points in time. It is important, therefore, as a leader, to be able to divide oneself among tasks in such a way so that the people who need to see them get that opportunity. Entrepreneur mentions that boundaries are a sign of good management within a business and in the case of a first-time manager, getting overwhelmed with the things that need to be done and the people that need to be seen isn't unheard of.
Quite often, a first-time manager gets drawn into the trap of assigning more time to someone who they are personally close with at the expense of others, sometimes even cutting into their ability to be informed of what's going on. This leads to the leader being distanced from his or her employees and eventually leads to resentment in the workforce that could eventually inovlve a law firm you found because their website was prominent in Google thanks to law firm SEO. This should be avoided at all costs since it may lead to the collapse of the entire team and can easily be avoided by budgeting one's time appropriately and erecting the necessary boundaries where required.
A Dog-Eat-Dog World
Management can be a treacherous pass to traverse, and as responsibilities increase, so does the stress. Being aware of what needs to be done and coupling it with accountability to those above you on the food chain is a good way to think of things, but it's not the only way to do so. Seeing employees as more than just people who work under you, or cogs in a machine is a necessity if you are to thrive as a manager. Keeping these tips in mind will go a long way towards ensuring that employees don't see you as a slave-driver, nor a pushover, but someone they can trust and rely on.
A social media marketing executive and entrepreneur, Alex has led the marketing divisions of some of the UK's leading advertising and PR firms. He specializes in usng the power of big data and business analysis to deliver actionable metrics.
As manager of a large team of digital marketers, Alex is responsible for delivering the training and development of his entire department. He emphasises standardizing procedures and creating an immersive on-boarding process as key to bringing new members to your team.
Outside business, Alex is a keen videographer and music producer, living and working in Brighton, UK.