Congratulations! You just got promoted. All that work and time you’ve dedicated to getting that promotion have paid off. Now that you’re in your new position, what do you do next? What are your first steps towards a smooth and successful transition into your new role?
First of all, celebrate, celebrate, celebrate! According to the ADP Research Institute, you’re now a part of the 9% of employees (on average) that get a promotion each year! So, pat yourself on the back, thank anyone who helped you reach this new level in your career, and just enjoy this new chapter in your career.
After that celebration is over and it’s time to get to work, here are 9 tips and tools to help you get started on the right and most successful foot in your new position.
Take advantage of Campfire’s Manager Essentials program.
Manager Essentials takes the best that Campfire has to offer—world-class training, meaningful peer connection, and immediately applicable resources—and packages it all together to create the most complete learning experience that exists for new managers to be successful. Each Manager Essentials cohort follows a 12-week course program that includes an assessment to identify areas of development, 6 one-hour training sessions to learn the basics of management, tools and templates to use in the day-to-day, and valuable networking opportunities.
Not only is this promotion a change for you, but it’s also a change for those on your team. Getting a new boss can be unsettling, especially if you’re an unknown to your team, so get to know your team as much and as quickly as possible. Focus on learning about their strengths, skillset, work style, mindset, personalities, and so on, and let them get to know you too. Unknowns can be difficult to navigate for the entire team, so remove as many of those unknowns as you can. Getting to know your team will also help you make the best use of their uniqueness, benefitting the entire team. It’s also important to remember that your team is not you—they’ll do things differently, and that’s okay. In fact, it’s the ideal.
Keep the status quo...for now. You might feel like you need to prove yourself in your new role from day 1, but there’s a reason you’re in this new role. You’ve proven you can handle it and handle it well. So, take a step back, take a long and detailed look at the big picture of your responsibilities, and then make changes slowly as you see fit. Again, change can be hard for everyone, so the fewer and the slower changes are made, the better it will be for everyone on your team. Including you.
Ask for help.
Both peers and those you’re managing can be great resources to help you begin and thrive in your new role. And asking for help when needed shows that you’re willing to learn and are open to other ways of thinking. Both are a bonus for any manager!
Whether you’re a seasoned manager or a first-time manager, it’s time to get out of your comfort zone because that’s where you’ll find the growth in your new role. The more you grow, the more your team will grow, and the more success you’ll all experience. So don’t be afraid to try new ways of doing things and think outside your usual box, and don’t forget to include your team too. It’s important that you’re all learning and growing together. Follow the wise advice of Eleanor Roosevelt:
“Do one thing that scares you every day.”
Strengthen your communication skills.
Poor communication can be costly, not only in team relationships, but financially, as well. In fact, one study found that in companies with 100 employees, miscommunication cost an average of $420,000 per year. That same study found that for larger companies (100K employees), miscommunication cost $62.4 million per year.
One important part of communicating is following up—making sure your team understands any communications and is then acting on them. A memo sent, or something mentioned in a meeting, and so on, does not always equate to understanding and the resulting actions from your team. Regular follow up is important, especially since your way of managing might be different from your team’s previous manager. So, follow up, then follow up again and again. Make sure any communications are crystal clear...continuously.
Another important aspect of communication is listening, which is important for any team member, but for managers, especially. The key is to listen to understand, not to think of a reply. Here are some things to work on to become a better listener:
- Don’t interrupt when someone else is talking.
- Think for a few seconds before you reply.
- Reflect back to the other person what you heard and ask for clarifications. Often, what we “hear” can be affected by our own experiences, values, beliefs, and perspectives.
Sign up for management courses offered through your organization and make it a habit to be continually learning about how to be successful in your new role and in life, as well, since both work and life tend to reflect on each other. Since books are a handy and effective way to keep learning, here are some highly rated management books that can help you in your new role:
- The New One-Minute Manager (Kenneth Blanchard, PhD., Spencer Johnson, M.D.)
- On Becoming a Leader (Warren Bennis)
- Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t (Simon Sinek)
- How to Win Friends and Influence People (Dale Carnegie)
- The Art of War (Sun Tzu)
- The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change (Stephen R. Covey)
- The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow You (John C. Maxwell)
- Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter (Liz Wiseman)
- Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity (Kim Scott)
- Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less (Greg McKeown)
- What Got You Here Won’t Get You There (Marshall Goldsmith)
- Effortless: Make It Easier to Do What Matters Most (Greg McKeown)
Be cautious of micromanaging. This can be a pitfall for new managers who are not only new to their roles, but possibly new to managing as well. It can be tempting to want to ensure that everything is done correctly since your team’s work will reflect on you, but fight that temptation. Trust your team, continually help them increase their skill levels, and let them do their jobs. And remember, your team members are not you. They will do things differently, and that’s okay. It’s the differences of each team member and how those differences can work together that can make a strong team.
Struggle with micromanaging? Get some tips on how to do better at micromanaging here.
Get Techy. There are so many apps available that can help in multiple areas of a manager’s roles and responsibilities: Scheduling, project management, time management and tracking, to-do list management, collaborations, and so on. Some apps even do double—or more—duty! Keep in mind that it might take some trial and error to figure out what will work best for you, but thankfully, most offer a free trial period. Some even offer a free version that can work for some organizations. This list is only a small sample of what’s available, but hopefully, it’s enough to get you started.
- Loom: “Show it, say it, send it” is Loom’s tagline, and this app makes video messaging a snap.
- Slack: Slack offers multiple means of communication including in-team, out of team, out of organization, basic messaging, and more. It can be used for workflow organization and management, and it can also be integrated with other apps, making it an all-inclusive possibility for an organization.
- Trello: Trello is popular for collaborating, project management, general organization, and overall workflow management.
- ClickUp: ClickUp offers project and task management and organization, collaboration, integrations with other apps and tools, plus ClickApps, which can further increase and customize this app’s ability to help you manage your team.
- Todoist: Todoist offers task and to-do list management and organization, and it can be connected to your email, calendar, and files.
- Calendly: Save time with back-and-forth emails and other communications by allowing others to schedule directly into available slots in your calendar. Calendly will even send reminder emails and information about each meeting.
And here’s a bonus tip, and it’s an important one:
Only work on one tip or tool at a time.
Studies have shown the following can happen when we’re working on a goal, working to create new habits, and even when we’re working to boost and solidify your management skillset:
- Work on one thing at a time = 80% chance for success long-term
- Work on two things at a time = 35% chance for success long-term
- Work on three or more things at a time = 5% of for success long-term
These stats are powerful, and it can be difficult to only work on one thing at a time, especially when you want to be successful in your new role. So, if you must work on more than one thing at a time, here’s a suggestion: Make reading a book one of the tasks you choose.
Being a manager is an important role for you, your organization’s leadership, and especially, for your team, so we’d like to leave you with one last thought:
“Always remember that leadership is a privilege. When you are in a leadership role, your influence may affect the trajectories of people’s entire careers (and often their lives!).” ~ Armed Forces of the Philippines Leadership Development Center
Use the tips and tools we’ve shared to propel you forward as a manager so that you’re able to have the type of impact on your team and on your organization that only you can provide.
Want more advice as you begin your journey as a manager? Subscribe to our #bestmanagerever newsletter or enroll in for an upcoming Manager Essentials cohort!