Becoming a manager for the first time is a great step in your career, but often individuals lack the proper training and skills needed to be a successful first-time manager.
Spotting an ‘accidental manager’
CIPD stats show that only 20% of managers in the UK rate themselves as purposeful leaders, which clearly outlines a gap in management training.
The term ‘accidental manager’ often refers to someone who has excelled in their job, which means they’re promoted to a managerial position, but they often lack formal management training. This leads to individuals who are great at their job, but lack the foundations for managing people, project planning and management and other key roles that come with a managerial title.
If this sounds similar to your situation, don’t worry. It is important to remember that you’re not the first, and you won’t be the last accidental manager. There is help at hand, starting with our 5 tips for new managers.
5 tips for new managers
1. Switch your focus
You’re likely to have been promoted because you’re great at your job. But now you’ve got the new title, your role is to now ensure your team are also being great. This shift from focusing on your own work, to ensuring your team succeeds can be tricky, but it takes time to settle in.
2. Listen and learn
It can be tempting to rush and make bold decisions to ‘make your mark’ in your first few weeks as a manager. Resist the temptation and instead focus your time on fully understanding your new role, the responsibilities and the dynamics of your team.
3. Find a mentor
Find someone who has experience as a manager. Having someone to look up to, and ask questions will make your transition easier, and keep you on the right track. It is reassuring to know that someone has dealt with e.g. a member of the team under performing, and will be able to share knowledge of how to handle the situation.
4. Embrace your relationship shifts
You’re not just another employee any more. You have more responsibilities now and a team to manage. It’s important to address the shift immediately and not have the attitude of ‘I just want to be liked’. You can’t show any favouritism to your work BFF if they are now managing them as it can drive other team members away.
5. Be organised
Set time aside for the various role your new job entails. Make sure to keep up to date with your projects, and team members. As a manager, you’ll be looked up to as a role model. It’s no good to be late to meetings, or missing deadlines. You can’t expect your team to work hard, it they can’t see you also working your hardest.
Why is it important to get formal management training?
If you are an ‘accidental manager’ getting formal training on what is means to be a manager isn’t a sign of weakness. Seeking help, and getting training will only excel you in your career. Look for courses where you can become accredited by management institutes, such as the CMI. Courses such as Hawk’s Stepping up to Leadership two-day workshop covers all the areas faced by first time managers, and will give you the confidence and skills necessary in your managerial role.
There are also apprenticeship options open to you, which cover various areas that’ll prepare you for your job as a manager. You’ll also have a dedicated and experienced tutor to help you through the transition. Read more about these here.
For more information about this, please call our team who will help decide if a workshop or an apprenticeship is the right path for you.