If it hasn’t happened already, it very well could. Your boss walks into your office, shakes your hand, gives you a raise and a new title: Manager. Congratulations, you’re a Boss. Now what?
Many companies move people up, which is good. But just as many companies don’t prepare new managers for what comes next. Giving new managers–and current ones—the tools to be a great leader is essential for business. At Lewis, we pride ourselves on promoting-from-within whenever we can. But we also know our culture demands we prepare our employees and managers by offering the best training in the industry. With an internal catalog of 100+ courses delivered online and in class, Lewis Learning offers employees a variety of options for their professional development. As for managers, Lewis has developed critical areas of focus, including learning plans, leadership practices, HR essentials, performance management and much more.
Whether you’re a Lewis employee, or want to be one, it’s important to know that earning a promotion to Manager is an exciting accomplishment. But as any Spiderman fan can tell you, “With great power comes great responsibility.” Now, suit up, Avenger. Lewis is here to help with five tips to help you become a better manager.
BE A PROFESSIONAL PEOPLE-PERSON
It’s not about you. Get used to it. When you’re a manager, it’s less about you and more about your team and the work they produce. Motivate. Support. Protect. And above all, appreciate. In a recent survey, 60% of people who left a job said it was because of their manager. Ouch. Don’t be that statistic. Remember that your team is made up of people. People like you with families, lives, highs and lows. Be sensitive to their world outside of work and let them know it’s not about living for work but working to live.
HONESTY IS THE BEST POLICY
I know I’ve had to work on this but whether it’s in the office or at your local coffee shop make time on your calendar for one-on-one meetings with each member of your team. Create a safe space for feedback on what’s working and what’s not. Use the 50/50 approach. 50% about work and 50% just about them. When employees feel safe enough to speak up, it not only solves problems before they arise, but generates new ideas and contributions. After all, who wants to teach a class where no one raises their hand?
MORE WATSON, LESS SHERLOCK
It’s bound to happen. Someone you manage walks into your office and drops a problem in your lap. Maybe a project is stalled, office drama, conflict between departments, or maybe they’re just stuck on what to do next. Your gut reaction is to be Sherlock Holmes and solve it yourself. But resist the temptation. Instead, encourage your people to develop solutions themselves through the freedom you offer, the responsibility you encourage and the support you give. By empowering your employees to be problem solvers, together you can unravel any mystery.
DELEGATE, THEN DELEGATE SOME MORE
If a smart company has promoted you to manager, it means you’re not only good at your job, you have something to share. You know the work; you know the expectations and you know what a job well done looks like. Teach it to others. Use foresight to develop categories of work that play to your employee’s strengths. Give instructions, then trust, verify and repeat. Give praise and ask for feedback. And above all: Do. Not. Micromanage. Trust your team. After all you probably hired them, so don’t sabotage the relationship. Let your team do the work you taught them. It’s not always easy, but good delegating is essential to good leadership.
IT’S A NEW WORLD OUT THERE
Managing people in 2020 requires a history lesson. The 2008 recession and the years after it changed everything. The robust job market of today, combined with a millennial workforce and light-speed advances in technology have changed the employer/employee relationship for good. Employees want a manager with passion, optimism, inspiration and perspective. Gone are the days of corporate rulebooks and processes etched in concrete. They’ve been replaced by Why do we do it that way? Can we do it better? Your job is to listen to that spirit, mold it within your team and grow it into something that is always evolving.
LIKE A BOSS
If you want to be a better manager, start by understanding it’s more than giving orders and grading reports. Put away your red pen. Great managers know their people are their best asset. Delegate, guide and communicate with honest feedback and trust. Follow this advice and pass the torch because there’s one more thing a good manager does: make more of them.
David Draper is the Director of Talent Acquisition for the Lewis Group of Companies. David is proud to be a part of a successful, stable, and winning team dedicated to its projects, its people and its community. Follow David on Twitter @LewisRecruits.