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Overcoming New Manager Challenges

Harbor America - May 14, 2019 12:04:00 PM

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The candidate pool for quality candidates has shifted, especially when it comes to proper managerial candidates. Employers who are forced to look externally to bring in new management are faced with a different situation that has existed in the last decade, as the unemployment rate is low, and the job-market is continuously changing in each industry.

For people transitioning to a managerial role for the first time, there is a lot to consider to ensure that your time in the new role is productive and sets you up for your next move somewhere in the future. Managers, however, tend to have the same struggles. Whether an employer is bringing in a new manager-level person to the company or an employee has recently received a promotion, these managers will face similar issues. Navigating learning opportunities, delegating certain tasks, and getting the feel for long-standing dynamics and unwritten organizational rules.

You can help new managers ensure success on your team by:

  • Rely on your human resource team when it comes to your first hire or fire within the organization. The HR team should be more than willing to jump to help support new managers through the hiring or firing process, address any negative emotions from laying someone off or even suggest some helpful tools or conversations with the new manager’s team.
  • Encourage any new manager to focus on building inter-departmental trust and relationships. New leaders can many times be harboring a bit of anxiety around their team—trust and relationship building can be a great way to overcome this. With new entry-level employees, many companies assign a buddy, someone who has been with the organization, potentially in a similar role, for a while. This gives the new employee someone to lean on from day one. This same strategy should be applied for new managers, suggesting a managerial-level buddy who can help the new manager navigate the choppy waters of taking on an existing team.
  • Help the new manager find their “sweet spot” in terms of their managerial style. All teams are different, and therefore should not be managed in typical cookie cutter fashion. There is a sensitive balance between being too distant or hands-off and micromanaging. The best way to gauge where a new manager’s “sweet spot” should be is to simply ask employees what they prefer, how they handle heavy workloads, and how they think they could better align to meet company goals.

Starting a new managerial role should be a fun and exciting time in a person’s life. It is important to remember that a manager's success is built on the backs of their employees’ success. Over time, the manager’s relationship and report with employees will become more comfortable and familiar. Until then, it is okay to be confident as a new manager, while also remaining humble and self-aware.

Harbor America helps clients breed passionate leaders while supporting the profound desire to build a strong business and strong community. Adding a new manager to an existing team can be stressful for the team, the new manager, and the existing leadership. Let Harbor America help get your organization prepared for new hires by upgrading to an electronic on-boarding system. Contact us to learn more.

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