You may have long anticipated the opportunity to become a manager. You may have dreamed about how you would handle high-profile projects, take on responsibility, and train workers.
Whether you are in charge of one employee or an entire team, making it to a managerial position for the first time can be a considerable change, the consequences of which you may not have entirely considered. If you’ve risen in the ranks to become manager for the first time, here are 5 things no one’s probably told you.
- You’ll need to make tough decisions
When you’re a manager, you may find yourself in situations where there are no right answers, sometimes. You’ll be forced to make unpopular calls that disappoint and anger many. You’ll need to convince all stakeholders that you did hear them out, but had no better choice than the one that you took.
You may need to fire people. It won’t be an easy decision, and you will have to work through complicated options to get to the point where dismissal is necessary. While firing someone is usually the last option to pick, your conscience will still bother you. You’ll need to bear the emotional toll that such a decision will take on you.
- You’ll need to understand that your reports and employees are not your friends
When you hear about how you need to be a friend to your employees, you mustn’t take it in a literal way. Leaders need to be friendly with their employees without actually being their friends. If you have trouble dealing with your boss, for example, you won’t be able to share your feelings on the matter with someone who reports to you. You need to be professional at all times.
Even as you do maintain a professional distance, you need to take a genuine interest in your employees, as well. If an employee needs to take care of a sick parent, if someone has small children at home, you need to know about the challenges that they face and do what you can to accommodate them. It’s all part of being a good boss without being an actual friend.
- The quality of the employees that you manage is a reflection on you
As you get used to your new role as a manager, your boss will watch your team to see how well they perform. The quality of their performance will reflect on your abilities as their leader.
Good leaders help their employees grow and gain in skill. Your job will be about more than just overseeing the work that others do; you will also need to guide your employees as they develop in their careers.
- It takes an endless time to manage employees
You might believe at first that having a team of employees working for you will help you significantly lower your workload. To an extent, it does work that way. Delegating takes time, however. You need to make sure that you explain the tasks that you delegate clearly, so a new employee can understand and do a quality job. It’s the manager’s responsibility to know how to explain tasks and projects clearly.
- The nature of your work will change
Your work as a rank-and-file employee got you promoted to management. As a manager, you will have new kinds of responsibilities, however. You will need to make sure that you are as good at these new responsibilities as you were with your old ones. In your first few months on the job, you’ll probably be anxious about learning all the skills that you need.
Many managers discover that they aren’t natural leaders. They push themselves out of their comfort zone, however, and learn communication skills, time management skills and other leadership skills. Being a manager for the first time can be scary. You will go through a steep learning curve and grow yourself considerably to fit in your new role. Often, you’ll need to read great management books and seek advice from managers above you, and from people who agree to serve as your mentors.
However, we assure you that if you’re a people person at heart, you will grow to love the challenges that your new position presents to you. With time, you’ll learn to be a great manager.
If you have further questions about managing your employees, please be sure to reach out to the StaffScapes team with any additional questions you might have. We are confident that we can provide your business with the services it needs in order to reach new levels of success. We’d love the opportunity to assess where you are today and where we can go together. For further information, click here to schedule a consultation with one of our PEO specialists.
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