Being promoted to supervisor for the first time is both thrilling and challenging. It takes intellect and initiative to move up the corporate ladder but transitioning into your new role means mastering a new skill set.
No matter what kind of business or field you work in, these 7 tips will help you navigate the managerial waters.
- Don’t try to be everyone’s friend. There is a difference between being friendly and being someone’s friend. You should always be cordial and amiable with your employees, however remember to keep the lines drawn between friendship and supervision. At some point you will need to discipline an employee or deliver bad news.
- Ask for feedback and input. As a new supervisor, you are not going to have all the answers. Part of your new role is to identify problems and deliver solutions as a manager. It’s your responsibility to learn how to find the answers and to ask for help when needed. Your boss, key employees and mentors can offer perspective and helpful advice.
- Learn how to run a good meeting. Employees typically are not enthusiastic about attending meetings. Poorly run meetings are considered a costly waste of time. However, if you develop a reputation for chairing a good and productive meeting, people will want to attend and participate at a high level.
- Find time to relax. Becoming a supervisor includes extra work. You must be able to effectively manage the workload without getting burned out. The team relies upon you to be healthy and energetic, otherwise you will be a drain on the organization.
- Take every opportunity for training. No matter how long you’re in the corporate world, never turn down training. Classes, seminars and workshops offer a chance to add skills and knowledge that will help you today as well as in the future. You can even learn something from bad training, like how not to run or poorly plan events..
- Learn how to say “no” comfortably. The answer to everything is not “yes.” In your role as a supervisor, you must ensure company policies are followed. You must learn what to prioritize as well as how to manage people’s expectations. Being able to say “no” in a tactful way will allow you to keep the best interests of the business in mind while not crushing employee morale and creativity.
- Master the art of delegation. If you work on your own, there’s only a limited amount that you can do, however long or hard you may work. If you learn to delegate properly, you can quickly build a strong and successful team of people, well able to meet the demands of the workplace. Plus, the participants get to claim contributions to and ownership of the results.
No one said being a supervisor is a walk in the park. Becoming a supervisor is about developing your team and constantly learning. When your team can effectively do the work, then you can attend training, take a vacation, or go to a meeting without the department falling apart. That team development is the core work of being a supervisor.