Making The Step Up To Management
When you step up in your career that’s usually the next rung on the ladder. So how do you make sure you are ready to be a good manager and have the tools to cope with the extra responsibility?
A good manager is someone who takes action. This can be hard when most office workers are bogged down with paper work and emails. But taking good action when it is needed and asked for shows you are hard working and able to make things happen.
“You need to be able to pull teams of people together to work towards common organisation goals. Part of this is making sure actions are undertaken by you and your team to achieve these goals. In some situations you will need to make snap decisions (this is part of your role as a manager)” says Rohan Bowyer, Director of RIOT Recruitment in the Hawkes Bay.
Being a manager means you not only have your normal day to day work to take care of, but you also have staff to invest time in and look after as well. Depending on the business, perhaps it would be your responsibility to take over if someone in your team is away sick or on leave. Bowyer says multi-tasking and juggling a wide variety of duties is an extremely important skill to have mastered.
“When you step up to a management position you will be thrown a lot of new challenges. As well as having to deal with a lot of your own work demands you will need to coordinate and monitor your team’s activities. You will find yourself juggling many balls in any given day.”
Extremely important for being a successful manager is to ensure you are easy to approach. If your staff feel like they can easily come to discuss things with you then there is likely to be a lot of trust and respect in the working relationship. You are more likely to know what is going on in your team if people feel safe to talk to you about issues and problems and you can curb any small problems before they turn into something more serious.
To be effective and efficient in your role as a manager, you need to be able to delegate. This obviously doesn’t mean dumping all of your work onto your team, but it is about knowing what you can pass onto others to free up more time to take important action on things. Bowyer says that delegating to your team can also help foster respect.
“If you can’t delegate as a manager, you will quickly find yourself overwhelmed with workload. Don’t delegate actions that you would not be comfortable doing yourself (people genuinely respect those that lead by example), and always make time to understand the core strengths of your team members (to ensure you are delegating to the right people).”
Leading towards a goal
Having a goal, or a specific result to reach is something that motivates a lot of people as it gives them a sense of achievement and satisfaction – that what they are doing every day actually means something. So a great way to motivate your team is to make them aware of their goal (or the organisations goals) and keep them on the right track to reach it. Regular staff meetings to discuss the current progress will help them stay motivated and seeing real change will encourage them to continue on their successful path.
Moving into a position of management is a nerve-wracking time for those who haven’t held that level of responsibility before. But it is also an exciting feeling when you have a team that is willing to work in partnership with you towards achieving great results in whatever you do. Just take your time and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Just because you’re a manager it doesn’t mean you have to know everything. Bowyer offers his final piece of advice for potential and new managers;
“Always look for ways to improve yourself (professional development), be ethical and work hard, and earn respect from those around you (don’t just expect this to come with a new title). Seek a good mentor or someone who can act as sounding board for you as you grow your career, as you will no doubt be faced with new challenges along the way.”