How to Develop First-Time Managers
It’s so exciting for both parties when you get to promote someone into a managerial role. Not only is it fantastic for their professional development, but internal promotions have a great impact on employee engagement and morale, benefiting the company as a whole too.
But as a first-time manager, the new role might be a little overwhelming to start. So, manager development is vital. It can often be tricky for new managers to differentiate themselves from their role as a lower-level employee. That’s why, here at EZRA, we’ve come up with a few helpful tips for developing first-time managers. These include:
Helping to find their strengths and how to use them in their managerial role.
Talking about management styles.
Encouraging regular meetings and check-ins.
Providing on-the-job managerial development training.
Fostering an environment of skill development and continual professional development.
Empowering them to make decisions and settle conflicts.
Recognizing and rewarding their achievements.
Help them find their strengths and how to use them in their new role
If you’re promoting someone to their very first managerial role, the likelihood is that they may not have thought about their leadership strengths and how they’d use them to manage others. So, the first step is to sit down with them and help them work out these strengths. Understand that they might be overwhelmed by the responsibility they’ve taken on, so break this process down step by step. What did they do well in their last role? Do they excel in organization, or are they really good at relating and engaging with people?
Development needs for managers are always going to differ but helping individuals to find their managerial strengths and encouraging them to use those strengths to manage their employees should be a standard practice when helping them develop in their role. As part of managerial training and development, help them work out their performance and development goals to learn how to use those strengths in practice.
Talk about management styles
While talking about the different management styles that may work for them, give advice from your own experiences. What do you do? What style has worked for you? Talk about the successful situations you’ve had, and your failures too! Of course, managerial styles will differ, but giving advice from your own experiences can be a start in helping new managers settle into their own styles of management.
When discussing manager development, it might be useful to explain your processes or give examples of situations they may encounter in their new role. By talking about what you do, and any experiences you’ve had, it can give a sense of direction and help first-time managers find their feet. That being said, do encourage them to come up with individual working styles themselves – what works for you may not work for them!
Encourage regular meetings with you, to clarify, inform, or set KPIs
Don’t forget to check in. Just because they’ve taken on a managerial role, doesn’t mean they have it all figured out. Set regular KPIs to help keep track of progress, and maybe consider having regular 1-1’s so they can ask any questions that may have come up during the week or clarify whether they were correct in taking a certain course of action. By offering support in this way, it allows your new manager to feel like they aren’t doing it alone while also giving them time to figure things out autonomously.
Provide on-the-job training
The benefits to on-the-job training are endless – from increased productivity to tackling any weaknesses that employees face when it comes to their role at work.
On-the job training is key to managerial development. By training your new manager in this way, it helps them recognize and understand any issues that are apparent and how to resolve them, it helps them develop on-the-job which can boost their productivity and helps to drive their innovation within a working environment.
On-the-job development training for managers can quite simply be delivered by you or other senior members of the team - sitting in one of their 1-1 sessions and giving feedback or points of consideration to them for example. You can use this as a chance to pass down skills that you, or even other senior members of the team, have gained through experience. Equally, on-the-job managerial training and development can also be external, given by a professional, or maybe even provided through collating online resources that are useful training materials.
By investing in on-the-job training for first-time managers, you’ll find that improvements will be quicker and more beneficial, whilst their confidence, engagement, and productivity will also begin to thrive.
Foster skill development and CPD
Creating a working environment where skill development is fostered and CPD (continuous professional development) is encouraged is another keyway of continually developing new and existing managers.
It can be easy to stagnate after a promotion, especially if the goal was to make the promotion. But to develop further, and really thrive in their new managerial role, learning new skills and fostering existing skill development can really play a key role in their growth. Could they try coaching to help facilitate this? Or could they go on a training course to learn about new managerial skills? The choices are endless, so work with them to figure out skills they’d like to, or need to, develop, and how you can help facilitate this.
Empower them to make decisions and settle conflicts
If they’re new to a management position, the likelihood is that they may well be managing people who were once their peers. This can be a tricky position to feel comfortable in. If they are feeling like that, empower them to make their decisions autonomously, and trust in themselves that, no matter how difficult they are, they’re the right ones.
As a first-time manager, dealing with conflicts in the workplace might also feel a little uncomfortable. So, as they develop, talk to them about how you’d approach it, and maybe come up with a plan to tackle these conflicts collaboratively to start.
Lastly, reward achievements – this can be as simple as giving praise in a 1-1 meeting, giving a shoutout in a company-wide group chat, or even going out to celebrate as a team! By rewarding achievements, you’re positively reinforcing that they’re doing a great job, and of course, boosting their confidence. It’s no easy task to work your way up to a managerial position, so praise is key.
If you’d like to learn more about developing employees, see how Focus by EZRA can provide your team with short, sharp interventions the moment you need them.