Like any other new role, being a first-time manager can be filled with nervousness. Statistics show 80% of working professionals experience nerves when starting a new job, and first-day jitters get even more intense in the last days leading to their start date. However, anyone stepping into a management role need not worry because, with time, there’s learning and experience.

Can first-time managers become successful in their roles with all the jitters that come along? This post covers effective tips for first-time managers to help them stand out as great leaders in delivering their roles.

What is People Management Meaning?

People management refers to hiring, training, leading, engaging, developing, and retaining employees or team members to improve their productivity to support an organization’s overall mission. Often people managers are usually Human Resource (HR) professionals. In brief, it’s an end-to-end process of talent acquisition, optimization, and retention with continued support and guidance for employees of an organization.

Why is effective people management important anyway? Effective people management can significantly boost employee engagement, retention, and organizational effectiveness, which are critical drivers of business success in today’s competitive market.

What Should a New HR manager Do First?

    Introduce yourself to team members

It’s good for first-time managers to introduce themselves to team members as soon as they get started with their new management role. It doesn’t only help establish trust with a team but also helps build positive relationships. Above all, it is a chance for managers to know other team members.

    Align team and company goals

Aligning team and company goals helps first-time managers set the pace for their projects. Besides, it helps team members understand what is expected of them and how they’ll contribute to the organization’s success. Consequently, it acts as an effective strategy for enhanced team performance.

    Set clear performance expectations together with your team

First-time managers need to set clear expectations and outline them to the team at the beginning. It enhances the relationship with the team and improves employee engagement right from the first days of your new role as a first-time manager.

7 Tips for First-Time Managers to Succeed

    Be open to making mistakes and learning

Even experienced and great managers make mistakes; therefore, first-time managers shouldn’t be hard on themselves trying to be perfect in everything they do. Instead, they have to accept that some mistakes will happen, which should be used as learning experiences in their careers.

Additionally, it makes you a resilient and better leader. Above all, it instils confidence in the team.

    Work with a management mentor

First-time managers should acknowledge that it’s okay to ask for help. However, it’s more effective if a mentor is involved. Why? Mentors have experience in issues and situations a new manager will likely go through. It means you have someone you can go to with questions or concerns and get guidance or a different perspective. More importantly, mentors help identify your blind spots as a first-time manager.

    Take time to figure out what’s working and what’s not

As a first-time manager, creating new designs and processes that you believe would be effective can be tempting. However, the approach is to take some time (maybe) months to observe and figure out what’s working and what’s not. Besides, you don’t risk losing your team’s trust and respect.

Notably, when designing better systems and processes, it’s crucial to involve team members in the implementation process.

    Be a good listener

Good listening is something people managers seek to have. Good listening entails being open during a conversation and proactively asking for employees’ feedback, insights, or opinions without biases.

A positive listening culture is one of the practical ways to enhance team productivity, boost morale, and make them feel valued. Most of all, good listening helps first-time managers identify underlying issues they couldn’t easily observe.


     Avoid micromanaging employees

Micromanagement of employees is one the bad habits first-time managers can easily develop unknowingly as they strive to have everything under control. Employees need the space and trust to get their roles or tasks done. Generally, a manager should help employees handle challenges as they perform their duties instead of controlling them or forcing them to work in their desired style, which could negatively impact their productivity.

    Consider regular check-ins even if nothing is wrong

Regular check-in meetings with individual team members help first-time managers get an insight into their performance and the challenges they might face frequently. It also allows one to uncover potential engagement issues as they arise and enhance trust within the workplace.

Check-in meetings can be conducted bi-weekly, weekly, or monthly. However, first-time managers should ensure they’re brief to point and are concluded with concrete takeaways, especially for a one-on-one meeting.

    Understand what motivates your team

Employee motivation is a tool for business success; therefore, first-time managers must understand what motivates their team to enhance productivity. Some team members appreciate being praised when they have done an excellent job; others want to be treated with respect; some want a healthy work-life balance, while others may highly appreciate development opportunities and rewards.

Employee motivation is also essential for attracting and retaining employees.

Here is a guide to an employee reward system.

In Summary

Above are proactive tips for first-time managers to help them get started in their new role with excellent leadership skills. They have to establish a positive relationship with their team and understand what processes work best and what motivates employees. More importantly, first-time managers should be active listeners and ought to avoid employee micromanagement. Lastly, mentors can significantly help first-time managers enhance their management skills.