How to make an impactful start as manager

5 ways to make an impactful start in your new role as manager

In addition to your own responsibilities and goals, it can be very challenging to manage and motivate a team and to keep track of it all. Especially when it’s your first time operating in such a role.

Because of the economy, the state of the market, your predecessor, the business’s size, and many other factors, every new management job has its own unique challenges. 

That’s why, in this article, we delve into five ways to make an impactful start in your new role as manager. 

1. Give yourself a head start 

It’s important to avoid falling into your new role from one moment to the next. Try to provide yourself with a transition period of one or two weeks to give yourself some breathing space and to calmly assess your future position’s goals. In his blog, Hays CEO Alistair Cox says: “The most important piece of advice I can give you is this: start thinking about your added value to the organisation in advance of starting your new job.” 

When getting promotion in the company, you’ll already be well aware of the business and of what is expected of you in your new role. “As an internal candidate, the processes will be all but the same, but you’ll need a much wider knowledge of the organisation. This means you should be able to make an effective and impactful start,” says Alistair Cox. 

2. Don’t compare yourself to your predecessor 

Occupying a senior position in a company, where many people trust you, is a challenge by itself already. Doing all of this while comparying yourself to your prodecessor makes the process twice as hard. Differentiate yourself from your predecessor early on, but not too drastically to immediately make yourself unpopular with the team. 

Make sure that you never disapprove of your predecessor’s way of working and never belittle their accomplishments – this can cause a shock reaction in the team and maybe your predecessor still keeps in touch with certain team members. Prepare yourself for any type of reaction, as change can be very hard for some people. Also, it certainly can’t hurt to try and think of a supportive person in your environment, for example. They can support you during your transition period and bring about a world of difference. 

3. First focus on success, later on popularity 

Of course, it can be very tempting to focus on popularity in the team in your new role as manager. However, this a time consuming process and doesn’t guarantee that your team will suddenly appreciate you fully. It would be good to concentrate on achieving your goals and, by doing so, automatically receive respect and appreciation, even in the long term. Loyalty, trust and respect are nice extras of strong leadership. This doesn’t mean you should ignore the team or avoid socialising at all. Instead, try to find a balance. 

4. Talk a lot, listen even more 

Communication is a leader’s most powerful tool – so never stop communicating with the team. When you’ve made it clear for yourself in which direction you want to steer the business, it would be invaluable to share this with the team. 

As a leader, an important part of your role is helping your team members to see the bigger picture of what you’re trying to achieve and to show how every individual fits in that picture, while also listening carefully to these team members. By conveying this belief to the team, you ensure loyalty and an improvement of the team spirit – something which, in turn, provides a better performance and a higher productivity overall. 

Remember that communication consists of talking and listening. It’s always valuable to listen to others, and it also ensures that you familiarise yourself with the company culture in the first few months. 

Besides, it’s vital to invest time in your team’s individuals during the first 90 days in your new job. “Remember that you’ll always be dealing with people who know what’s going on. They expect you to make your mark on the business, and will therefore look critically at your every step,” as explained by Alistair Cox. Getting to know your team by spending time with every indiviual will help both parties in understanding and realising which way of working is the best fit. 

That’s why you also have to treat everyone equally when communicating with the team. Avoid any prejudice about who is the best performing team member and assume that everyone is just as good until proven otherwise. Work together, don’t be afraid to give compliments, and don’t be afraid to ask for help, even though you’re the manager. 

5. Be a leader 

As mentioned, you convice team members by working hard and achieving visible results. Show them how capable you are – not only does this gain you respect, but you’ll notice a better team result because your team members don’t want to disappoint you. 

You’re the team manager – it’s your job to lead by setting examples. This means both crossing items off your to-do list AND dealing with the little things. Be sociable to create a positive and productive atmosphere, be on time to achieve punctuality, and dress professionally to ensure representativity. 

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