Often, employees who have been promoted for performing continuously, fail to become effective managers. A top performer need not always be an effective manager. Team management requires much more than a ‘A’ grade and domain experience. It requires “people skills.” If you are going to manage people for the first time, here are 14 habits to implement:
- Get to know your business and organizational goals. Understand your responsibilities and know what is expected from your role.
- Make a plan. Set short term and long term goals that are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely). Ensure your team understands what end results you are looking to achieve.
- Implement and encourage open communication. Keep your team informed about all upcoming projects and deadlines beforehand.
- Practice active listening. Catch the pulse of your team. Know who is good at what. Identify the strengths and weaknesses of the team. Assign right tasks to right people.
- Get to know your team members and their personal goals and objectives. Spend time individually to find out what support you can offer and how you can help.
- Invest time in building strong relationships within the team and with other teams.
- Look for areas for improvement in the team that can be trained and developed. Take steps to take your team to the next level of expertise. Analyze the performance and track progress.
- Recognize and reward whenever good work is done. Appreciate in public. Stick a handwritten note on the employee’s desk. Take the team out for lunch. Ask top performers to share their best practices.
- Initiate team branding activities. Highlight the achievements of your team in your communication. Publish reports/success stories and circulate newsletters. Improving your team’s exposure will make them confident and boost productivity.
- Take feedback. Make sure your team feels free to share their ideas, thoughts and suggestions. Let them know that they can walk up to you anytime and you will listen.
- Know your limitations. Find a mentor who can help you overcome your challenges.
- Establish your credibility. Prove your skills by taking up some tasks and showing that you know the right way of doing things.
- Have an upbeat attitude. Be confident and encourage positivity in the team. Look for ways to energize and boost productivity. Organize fun activities.
- Be a role model. Admit your mistakes and show respect. Set an example by following your own rules. Walk the talk so that your people do the same.
What tips do you have for first time managers? Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org .