When an employee suddenly gets promoted as a manager, the excitement is sometimes short-lived. Soon, there is a crippling fear of failure. Understandably so, since being a manager is a towering responsibility. And for first-time managers, the responsibility carries even more weight.
You need to ask yourself – what makes a successful manager?
Although there is no shortcut to experience, there are certain rules a new manager can follow to make sure they don’t falter at the very first step. Managing people is one of the essential skills a person can pick up during their career. To be promoted to management without prior experience is a massive show of confidence by the company towards an employee. And one must be vigilant so as not to squander away this confidence. Here are a few tips to help you transition into the role with ease.
How to be an Effective First-Time Manager
There are no dark secrets to being an effective manager, but there are some basics one can follow –
- Value Employees
A manager must understand the role individual employees play towards the success of a team and the organization.
- Communicate Clearly
As a manager, make clear decisions and communicate them well, without leaving any room for doubt.
- Do Not Micromanage.
This is something many first-time managers are guilty of doing. A manager cannot be everywhere. You must trust your team to do their job.
- Lead by Example
A manager must be one step ahead of everyone in the room. Employees must feel their manager puts in as much effort into a project as they do.
- Acknowledge and Appreciate
It is crucial to appreciate a job well done and acknowledge achievers. Doing so boosts team morale.
Setting and Tracking Team Goals
No team can move ahead without proper planning. Well defined goals are essential to a team’s success. Here’s how you go about it:
- Have Clear Ideas
A manager must start by pointing out what the company wants to achieve. Knowing what is expected from the team will help formulate a plan.
- Set Goals for The Team
As a manager, you are in charge of team-level ideas and should only set the goal at a team level. Setting team-level goals allows individuals to decide for themselves what they want for their own goals.
- Set Deadlines and Track Progress
Setting the required deadlines for the team is important. It is equally important to follow up on the progress made. If anyone is lagging, a manager must help them catch up.
- Hold effective meetings for accountability
Meetings are an effective way to track progress and set accountability for the team. One important aspect of meetings is its minutes. Here are some important dos and don’ts for meeting minutes taking that you can refer to.
You can either note down the minutes of the meeting or record them easily with FreJun.
Dial M for Meetings
A large part of managerial work, including setting and tracking team goals, happens through meetings. Meetings are where most first-time managers face hiccups. Before rushing headlong into setting up meetings, remember the cardinal rule: Eliminate unnecessary meetings. Do not call for one when it can be done over email. That said, when a meeting is an absolute necessity, here are some basic How To’s to follow while conducting it:
- How To: Have Effective Team Meetings?
- Have Effective One-on-Ones?
- Handle Different Personality Types During Meetings?
- Record Meeting Minutes? (Templates for collecting meeting minutes)
Effective Team Meetings
A meeting, at times, can seem like it is more trouble than it is worth. Employees, every so often, may feel a meeting is eating into their time. The time that they could have better spent doing productive work. A manager’s job is to make sure a meeting feels essential to each participant.
- Only Have Meetings If Absolutely Essential
To reiterate, call for a meeting only when there is something to share.
- Have an Agenda
A list of objectives prepared before the meeting goes a long way in boosting its effectiveness. While conducting the meeting, you can go through this list one item at a time. This way, all the participants know what is on their plate and why.
- Stick to a Timetable
If the meeting goes on beyond its stipulated time, its productivity nosedives. Each employee’s time is valuable. And a manager’s job is to make sure that time is well invested. So maintaining a strict start and end time for a meeting is of utmost importance. If a meeting was supposed to be 3 hours long, finish it off in 2hrs 55 mins. This is what effective management all about.
- Appoint a Leader
Employees like to feel valued. If they feel their contributions to a meeting matters, they will be more invested in it. As a manager, you should assign a leader for each meeting, depending on the kind of expertise needed. This way, you can delegate a few of your responsibilities while allowing an employee to feel appreciated.
- Limit Participation
There is absolutely no point in involving ten employees for a meeting that you can effectively conducted with just three. A common mistake made by managers is to invite more participants than needed. Doing so not only wastes time and productivity, but it also hampers progress during a meeting creating a situation of “too-many-cooks.”
- Action Items with Accountability
A meeting is hardly effective if team members do not follow through all the measures discussed by the end of it. Creating action items for each planned item and holding a member responsible for its completion allows the meeting to become fruitful.
- Solutions Over Problems
An effective meeting is one where solutions take priority over the discussion of problems. By cultivating an attitude of making meetings solution-intensive, a manager can increase their effectiveness tenfold.
One-on-one meetings form the crux of employee-manager relationships. To make employees feel valued, a manager must know how to handle them.
- The key to employees’ performance is their motivation. A manager must always keep track of employee motivations. Is something in their personal lives affecting their work? What helps them perform at their best? Knowing these helps in driving team performance.
- In case of any serious performance issues, do not call them out in front of the team. Address them individually during these meetings.
- Highlighting excellent performance during these meetings keeps employees motivated.
- During these meetings, it helps to track employees’ progress against action items and simultaneously update employee performance documentation.
- It is also essential to note down any feedback employees may have to understand their perspective better.
- One-on-one meetings are the right place to brainstorm ideas and reach solutions for any problems employees may be facing.
- These meetings are also ideal for setting up a rapport between employees and the manager.
- Everything discussed during the meeting must stay between the attendees alone. Ensure Confidentiality. Unless required, there is no need to intimate anyone else.
How to Handle Different Types of Personalities During The Meetings
A manager must be well equipped for managing disagreements as well as ego-related issues among members during a meeting. As a first-time manager, you may find managing disagreements overwhelming. But once you understand people’s personalities, you’ll get the hang of it. There are mainly four personality types at play during a meeting, and a manager must know how to handle each of them –
- The Dominant Personality – These are expressive, passionate ones who are not afraid to speak their minds. But they can overshadow other members. As a result, a team might lose out on valuable inputs. As a manager, make sure everyone gets an equal voice. However, do not undervalue the dominant personality’s opinions too.
- The Expressive Personality – This type tends to go overboard with ideas and gestures, and this may lead to a time-crunch. A manager must rein them in once they have made the crux of their point heard.
- The Analytical Personality – Sometimes, a team member might seem slow, but in reality, they are just thinking more than they are saying. It is the manager’s job to get them to speak up. Otherwise, the team will lose out on good ideas.
- The Amiable Personality– They are the people-pleasers. They will continuously agree with everyone to avoid conflict. But this way, their views get lost. A manager must know how to draw out any reservations these members have, despite their agreeable nature.
How To Collect Minutes of the Meeting Effectively
Once the meeting is over, it is essential to make sure everyone is on the same page. For this, the minutes of the meeting must be captured effectively.
- Using the meeting agenda as a guideline, you can plan the template for the minutes.
- After noting down the date and time of the meeting, the next priority is to note down the attendees.
- As the team discusses each objective, note down all the primary arguments made in favor of and against it.
At the end of each meeting, you must send out the documented minutes to all attendees via email. This way, if anything was left out, one of the attendees will point it out. It will also serve as a memory refresher because it is practically impossible for a person to remember everything. In case the team needs to start the next meeting from where they left off this one.
Record Minutes of the Meeting with FreJun
For effective documentation of minutes of the meeting, you can either note them down or record them with FreJun. FreJun uses a voice-based deep learning system to record your meetings and send the minutes to you. All you have to do is command FreJun to start recording and enjoy a hassle-free meeting. As a first-time manager, FreJun will serve as a reliable tool to assist with your meetings.
Equipped with these guidelines, you are well on your way to becoming a great manager. Implementing each of the above tips will surely take some time. But, as a first-time manager, you have each day to practice and build upon these habits. Always keep your goals, employees, and team in mind while taking any decision. Seek to understand your employees before trying to manage them, Plan immaculately, and always follow- up. And most importantly, learn as you go.
All the best!