Management is much different than a regular employee role. It’s exciting, but the responsibilities can be overwhelming at the same time. You’ll be in charge of a team of employees and need to make sure that they do their jobs correctly; that alone can be a challenge enough. If you don’t know where to start when transitioning into a management role, here are a few ways to make the shift smoother.
Learn What You Can
You can’t be a manager without doing your homework. The internet is a vast source of knowledge waiting to be used, and it has an abundance of tools for managers to take advantage of. Search for management tools, resources, and online classes offered by your company. What does your company offer for supervisor positions? Some have formal training, and almost all will have manuals and HR policies available to look at.
Take a moment to learn more about the people you’ll be managing as well. Look at their personnel files, resumes, and past performance reviews to get a feel of who you’ll be managing.
Look For a Mentor
Even with the resources available to you, there are some things a manual won’t be able to tell you. Certain situations will only be learned through experience—but that experience doesn’t have to be your own. Seek out someone who can act as a mentor; more likely than not, they’ve dealt with situations not covered by manuals and will be able to guide you in what to do should they arise. This mentor should be someone you can discuss issues with confidently, and they don’t necessarily have to be within your company.
Make Sure to Listen
One of the worst things you can do as a manager is refusing to listen to your employees. Some people go into managerial roles wanting to show that they’re in charge through drastic changes, but this isn’t the way to go about settling into your new position. It’s also not the way to get your team to listen to what you have to say. Instead, meet with your new team members to understand their roles and ask questions about their jobs: what do they like? What are their challenges? How would they like to improve the organization?
You can’t please everyone, but taking the time to listen to your new team and getting everyone’s input will help build a positive relationship between you and your staff. Understanding your team’s goals and wants will also let you help them perform at a higher level. Meeting with your team shouldn’t be a one-time thing—have an open-door policy or scheduled hours where your team can talk with you if need be.