Entering management is a fascinating opportunity for employees. Their hard work has resulted in a new role with heightened responsibilities and a unique view of the company. While the job can be rewarding, management has its fair share of challenges.
Predicting the upcoming troubles is difficult because first-hand experience is necessary for growth. Here are seven hard and fulfilling lessons managers will learn in their new position.
Each Personality Requires a Different Management Style
Managing a team could mean supervising 10 or 100 people. Regardless, each person needs a unique managing style. Some will embrace daily interaction and feedback, whereas others would rather keep to themselves and work in solitude whenever possible. A manager should be mindful of these preferences to support their colleagues’ satisfaction.
Tailoring to each employee’s personality will reduce the risk of turnover and boost morale. The Society for Human Resource Management says each new hire costs $4,700 on average, so maintaining consistent and high-performing staff is crucial. Supervisors must be chameleons and fit the leadership their workers need.
Feedback and Its Delivery Are Crucial
Feedback is critical in today’s workforce. Most bosses tell their workers how they’re doing, but it might not be enough. Research shows 65% of employees want more feedback about their work. A manager’s assessment is critical for an employee’s growth, so constant feedback should be the norm for supervisors. However, its delivery can go a long way.
Personality comes into play again because the delivery method for feedback should differ by the team member. Some people don’t mind public chats about performance, even if it comes with constructive criticism. When in doubt, supervisors should make their feedback private for positive reinforcement and growth opportunities.
Another critical element of feedback is being specific and deliberate. Telling an employee they’re doing a superb job is a nice comment, but they’ll appreciate an extended explanation of what they did well. For example, a boss could commend their co-worker for their calmness under pressure when delivering a report before its deadline. Their assertive demeanor is one reason why they’re crucial.
Relationship Dynamics Will Change
Employees may be with the same team for five years before moving to the management team. This span is long enough for employees to develop deep bonds with their colleagues and a high degree of trust. A 2021 study finds 57% of people like having friends at work because it makes the job more tolerable. However, these workplace friendships may change if one moves to a leadership role.
Suddenly, the relationship dynamic changes. Friends may look at each other differently if one becomes their direct supervisor. This shift can lead to a breakdown in trust if the manager takes advantage of the shift in power dynamics. Alternatively, leaders must learn not to play favorites even if their pals are subordinates. Professional boundaries are necessary to ensure conflicts don’t arise. Colleagues can remain friends, but a change in their relationship is inevitable.
Tough Decisions Will Come Daily
Managing lets staff meet wonderful people, build a company and show off their leadership. However, the job does come with less desirable tasks.
For example, supervisors will occasionally have to fire an employee. If a worker’s performance is poor, the entire team will likely see this happening. Some may suggest the struggling employee compromises the department’s performance. In this case, it’s best to let the person go for the good of the business. Firing them can strengthen the team and increase trust with the remaining group.
Another undesirable problem is solving a conflict between two or more workers. The answer to each situation will depend on the circumstances, but supervisors may find themselves between two polarizing stances. They could both have legitimate arguments, but it’s up to the leadership team to resolve them with a solution. While a win-win situation is desirable, managers may have to satisfy one party and leave the other upset.
Ensuring Work-Life Balance Is Key
Entering a management position typically entails more responsibility, leading to more hours at the office. The extended time can negatively impact these supervisors if they don’t ensure a solid work-life balance. Supervisors who consistently work more than they should risk burnout.
Managers can put a lot of weight on their shoulders, so it’s crucial for these leaders to care for themselves and their mental health. Business leaders must focus on the job but find time to do what they love during the week.
For example, they should block out time for exercise during the week and on weekends. Hiking, swimming and jogging are only some fitness regimens that increase heart rate and improve cardiovascular health. These habits mitigate a sedentary lifestyle one might get in an office job.
Trust Is Integral for Success
Responsibility increases for leaders, making many feel they must put the world on their shoulders. These upper positions should expect a higher workload, but it doesn’t have to fall on them wholly. Managers should demonstrate trust in their staff by delegating tasks. Letting others handle difficult or high-pressure situations can be unnerving but an excellent opportunity to let them shine.
Empowering subordinates builds confidence and contributes to their professional development. The Pew Research Center says 33% of employees who left their jobs in 2021 cited a lack of advancement opportunities as a major reason. Managers may hesitate to delegate, but it’s crucial for keeping employees and helping their professional growth.
Managers Can’t Do It Alone
Accepting a leadership role for the first time can be challenging and intimidating. While much of a manager’s learning occurs on the job, they don’t have to go at it alone. They should seek the advice of their colleagues in similar positions and others in the industry. These professionals were once first-time managers, so they’ll have terrific insight for succeeding in leadership positions.
Another option is to get a mentor. These experts have years of experience training and guiding leaders through early struggles. Mentors can provide new managers with the resources necessary for success, whether words of advice, books, workshops or conferences. With these professionals, the job becomes much easier. Supervisors must remember they don’t have to do it alone.
Cold, Hard Truths for Managers
Entering a higher-up role is an exciting time for professionals. They’ll test their leadership skills and form special bonds with their new colleagues. While the job can be rewarding, it will bring hardships and headaches for newly promoted managers. These seven lessons are some of what new leaders can expect in the next phase of their careers.