Preparing New Managers for Success: 5 Key Points

Becoming a manager for the first time can be scary, as well as a bit surprising. New managers are often surprised by how quickly things change when they take on a supervisory role, in terms of duties and workplace relationships. The transition from employee to supervisor goes much more smoothly when prospective new managers are properly prepared for success before taking on a supervisory role.  

How to Prepare New Managers for Success

If you’re involved in selecting new managers, it’s important for you to realize that you can play an important role in setting them up for success by ensuring they truly understand what’s involved in being an effective supervisor. Be sure to explain that transitioning to management involves:

  • Letting Go – One of the hardest thing for new supervisors is to learn to delegate effectively. It can be difficult for new managers to learn to oversee employees rather than jumping in and dong things themselves. However, a supervisor’s role isn’t to do the work, but to ensure the work gets done.
  • Taking On a Broader Focus – While workers can concentrate on their own productivity, supervisors must have a broader focus because they’re responsible for overall productivity. This means spending time directing the work of others, as well as monitoring, coaching, giving feedback and developing employees.
  • Dealing with Different Personalities – Employees don’t all have the same personality type, so they aren’t all motivated in the same way. Supervisors have to get to know their employees well enough to know how to best communicate with them effectively. They must be willing to adapt to meet individual employee needs to get results.
  • Listening Effectively – Communication involves much more than conveying information to employees. Listening is a form of communication, and it’s one that managers are likely to spend more time doing than anything else. Employees need to have a voice, and that starts with having managers who listen to them.
  • Expecting Relationship Changes – When a person shifts from being a peer to being the boss, it’s only natural that workplace relationships will change. New supervisors need to be prepared to expect things to be different with their former peers, as well as with others in the organization, when they take on a supervisory role.

By making sure that people who are considering transitioning to a supervisory job know to expect these things, they’ll be better prepared to make an informed decision. When you make sure that prospective supervisors have a good idea of key changes to expect, you’ll help set them up for success, whether they choose to stay where they are or accept the promotion. 

About The Author: 
Mary Gormandy White, M.A., SPHR is co-owner of MTI Business Solutions, where she provides HR, management and leadership training and consulting services for clients throughout the U.S., including the Everything DiSC suite of assessments. She is an Everything DiSC Certified Trainer.