Is this your first management role? Have you been given any management training and development in your new role? Are you worried about how effective you are?
Managing others for the first time can be a daunting task and the following tips will help you to manage your new priorities and workload effectively.
1. Use a diary or your email calendar to plan your schedule
It may sound simple but by using a diary it will have a massive impact on how you utilise your time if done effectively. A dairy is not just for appointments but should be used to plan and prioritise your daily tasks.
2. Maintain a clear environment
An effective manager maintains a clear desk policy. Have an ‘in’ and ‘out’ tray ensuring that your ‘out’ tray is clear each day. Remove all papers at the end of the day and file then away as this will save time the following day as you will not have to sort out yesterday’s work. The same principle applies to mail and electronic documents too. Efficient administration and filing systems are invaluable.
When done effectively delegation is a key tool for a first line manager. Do you think delegation means ‘telling someone else to do it’? Well delegation in the true sense of the word is about entrusting responsibility and authority to others, who then become responsible to you for their results. Delegating gives you more time to spend on important priorities, it increases your effectiveness and more importantly develops others. Enabling others to develop through delegation promotes staff involvement and empowerment which is highly motivating for them. Management is about getting things done through others, it is not about doing everything yourself!
4. Remove all interruptions
What do you think the two biggest distractions are preventing people getting immersed in their work? Well believe it or not its emails and the telephone. One tip is to remove the ‘ping’ sound when you receive an email so you are not tempted to look at it straight away. Set time aside at intervals during the day to check emails. The same applies to the telephone as well, schedule in your calls to be made together at one point during the day to stop a break in your concentration. You could turn your telephone to answerphone (if appropriate) and once again collect voicemails at dedicated times during the day.
5. Do not accept responsibility for the problems of your staff
For a kind and caring manager this can be a tricky one, but you don’t do you or your staff any favours by taking over responsibility for their problems. This does not mean that you shouldn’t help your staff, you must do this, but the moment you let their problem become your problem, you will have one more problem than you had before! Say for example if you did this for ten of your staff every week, you will have gained over 100 problems in three months! Instead meet with them on a 1:1 basis and coach them to help them to resolve the problem themselves. This will ultimately give them a sense of achievement as well as the skills needed to solve their own problems in the future.
As mentioned above managing people for the first time can be a daunting task. Use these tips regularly and you will be well on your way to becoming an effective manager who achieves great results through your staff as well as a good work/life balance.