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4 People Management Tips for First-Time Bosses

Posted on 8th Feb 18

You’ve finally made it to managerial level- congratulations. You just leveled up in terms of responsibility and decision-making power, but you’re also about to meet a lot of new professional scenarios you’ve never encountered before.

One of the biggest learning curves for first-time managers is the management of other employees: getting the best out of them, dealing with any issues, and re-balancing relationships with those who were once your peers. In this article, VANRATH has gathered our top tips to help you grow into your new role, and become a natural leader.

1. Get personal...

It’s important to take time the time early on in your new role to sit down with your new charges one-on-one. Whether you’ve joined a new company, or managing your former peers, an introductory meeting helps define the context of your position and understand the role of each person in the business.

Taking the time to talk in detail with each individual about their responsibilities, ambitions and challenges is a sure-fire way to understand the best way to manage them, both short and long term. If you know someone is struggling with a new process, you can arrange assistance to get them up to speed. If someone would like to take on responsibility, you can take measures to have them take part in more projects.  

As tempting as it can be to come in a make changes right away, it’s best to do this listening and learning before enforcing any big changes (particularly if you’re joining a new business): you will having a higher chance of your team buying into change if they helped inform the decision, and taking the time to understand their motivations will make them more likely to buy into you as a manager.

2...but know the new boundaries

Creating professional distance can be hard, particularly if you previously worked closely amongst those employees you now manage. However, it is essential that your behaviour and relationships change, to establish and maintain power and authority in your new role

The best way to address this shift? Meet it head on. Take the time to speak to those you were close with, and explain that you value their friendship, but that your new role will mean that your relationship within work will be different going forward- a supportive colleague will understand.

3. Be Accessible

We’ve all experienced ‘the phantom boss’ at one time or another, so we know the frustration and bottlenecking it can cause to have a manager who’s never around. Your team will need assistance, advice and sign off from you, so ensure that you get the right balance of meetings and desk-time. Being at your desk will keep your team focussed and feeling supported, and will also ensure that no issues gather any momentum in your absence.

In the same breath, be sure that you don’t over manage your employees! Allow them the flexibility and autonomy to grow and learn in their roles- ultimately, you’ll end up with a stronger team in the long run.

4. Ask the ‘Magic Question’

‘What do you think?’

This little question can be hugely beneficial to you and to your team. By asking your employees to weigh in, you help develop their problem solving skills, and confidence in their own decision making abilities. Your team will be become more robust, and asking their input will signify a respect for them which you will reap back tenfold.  

Not yet made the step up in your career? Interested in new opportunities? Browse VANRATH's live job board here, or call 02890 330250 today, to talk to one of our expert consultants in total confidence.