Advice for New Managers

Being promoted to a management role is one of life’s milestones. For many professionals, it marks the moment that their careers really began. However, it’s not all peaches and cream.

In fact, new managers face a number of challenges. Recently, the staffing pros at Robert Half Management Resources surveyed CFOs to find out which of these challenges are the most daunting.

According to the results, some of the biggest ones include:

Balancing individual job responsibilities with time spent overseeing others.
Supervising friends or former peers.
Motivating the team.
Prioritizing projects.
Meeting higher performance expectations.
To help new managers meet the challenge, Robert Half Management Resources is offering these tips:

  1. Know where to go for help. Learn what resources, including external subject matter experts, are available to you and where you can turn with questions.
  2. Identify a mentor. If there is no formal mentoring program, find another manager you can tap for advice or a star peer whose best attributes you want to model.
  3. Make sure you have enough staff. Nobody can be successful without adequate support. Bring in new hires and interim professionals as needed.
  4. Set expectations. Work with your manager to develop a 30-, 60- and 90-day plan. Communicate the goals to staff to ensure you have a shared vision of success.
  5. Establish boundaries. Explain what you will expect from former peers and pals and what they can expect from you. The new relationship status is not easy for them either. Acknowledging it upfront is a great way to ease tension and uncertainty.
  6. Use your calendar wisely. Schedule regular meetings with your direct reports, but also block off times to focus on your individual responsibilities.
  7. Enter with a light hand. If you force too many changes or overburden staff, they may revolt. Take a collaborative approach, and let them have a say in decisions.
  8. Find your style, but be flexible. Whenever possible, tailor your management style to each employee, and change tactics if something isn’t working.
  9. Don’t be too hard on yourself. You want to succeed in the new job, but cut yourself some slack. If your staff sees you putting in earnest effort and working with them to improve the organization, they’ll rally around you.
  10. Have fun. Bringing levity to your role makes you more likeable. Keeping the mood light also boosts morale and helps people stay poised under pressure.

Pay special attention to 9 and 10. Your career as a manager is a long road, and you need to find your stride. Enjoy it.

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