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Top 20 Success Tips for New Managers

Let’s face it – managing people is hard work. Managing people well is even more challenging. It takes special skills, training, and experience to be an effective leader. What’s more, if you’re a newly-minted manager, chances are you won’t actually be good at management in the beginning. But fear not! Our list of top 20 success tips will help you take the guesswork out of employee management and leadership in the workplace. Before you know it, you’ll be well on your way toward becoming a respected and trusted leader.

Tip #1: Get the Right Education

Many schools offer management degrees at all levels of study. (Check out our list of accredited degree programs!) These programs provide the nuts and bolts of leadership and management training including:

  • Bookkeeping
  • Business ethics and principles
  • Business communications
  • Marketing fundamentals
  • Management principles
  • Management of human resources

Tip #2: Find the Right Job

Managers are suited to different positions in different types of organizations. Personality traits and management style should dictate which jobs you hunt. Consider the following:

  1. What type of people do you enjoy working with?
  2. Do you see yourself managing large or small teams, an entire department, or multiple departments of a company?
  3. What type of management style do you prefer? (Does a former boss come to mind? If so, what did you like/dislike about him or her?)

Tip #3: Find a Mentor

Whether you’re job hunting or working towards a management promotion, finding a mentor is helpful at any stage in your career. Shadowing someone in a management role is effective way to learn, and he or she can serve as a sound support system once you’ve landed that job or earned that promotion.

Tip #4: Understand Your Role as Manager

Each company has its own way of doing things, and it’s important to know what’s expected of you. As a manager, you’ll be a major factor in the success of your team so if you have any doubt, make sure to meet with upper management to ensure that performance and accountability measures are understood.

Tip #5: Study the Business and its Employees

A good manager knows the ins and outs of the company and the employees that hold it all together – so do your homework. The more you know about how your company works, the better prepared you’ll be to address personnel and resource issues. Make sure you’re in tune with:

  • Workplace training
  • Recruiting practices
  • Performance management
  • Compensation policies
  • Company goals and objectives

Tip #6: Dress the Part

Your wardrobe says a lot about you and your leadership abilities. Even if your company has a casual dress code, stay on the conservative side. Jeans and sneakers do not convey a professional or businesslike image.

Tip #7: Manage Time Wisely

Once you become a manager, you’re always managing. And managing your time wisely is one of the most important skills you can master as a leader. Make sure to set priorities and take care of the most important tasks first. And don’t forget to set aside time for employees if they wish to discuss issues or concerns with their job.

Some guidelines:

  • Set daily goals and reminders
  • Keep up with your calendar(Outlook and Gmail offer fantastic calendar options with alerts and notifications!)
  • Track your progress and reassess your to-dos when needed

Tip #8: Motivate Your Team

If managing people weren’t hard enough, try motivating an entire staff. This takes practice, but here are a few ways to help maintain productivity:

  • Be enthusiastic – a happy boss is much easier to work for than an unhappy one
  • Announce employee accomplishments – give credit when credit is due
  • Create a community – you’re all in this together

Tip #9: Keep Your Door Open

An open door policy encourages communication and feedback. Employees want to feel valued and welcomed. A closed door is often a sign you don’t want to be disturbed.

Tip #10: Maintain Professionalism

We all lose our cool now and again. But an office meltdown is something else. Maintaining your professionalism is important, even at holiday parties, happy hours, or any office social event. Your staff looks to your conduct as an example of what’s appropriate behavior.

A few things a manager should NEVER do:

  • Let their egos get in the way
  • Threaten their employees
  • Lose control
  • Accuse a staffer of failure (especially in front of others)
  • Break the law

Tip #11: Lead by Example

Similar to #10, but worth reiterating. No matter if you’re the big boss or the newest hand on the job, show up to work on time, stay until your assigned work hours are over, and hold everyone accountable equally. You’re the example that staffers take their cue from.

Tip #12: Leave Your Personal Life at Home

Your party life, family drama, spousal issues, financial setbacks (or successes) is your business and your business only. Don’t pull a Michael Scott and share your relationship and money hiccups with your employees.

Tip #13: Delegate Tasks Appropriately

Delegating will eventually become second nature to you. But right out of the gate, you might struggle with this a bit. Effective delegation requires the following steps:

  1. Define the results you want
  2. Select the right individual(s)
  3. Set expectations and set parameters
  4. Arrange for feedback during and after the process

Tip #14: Set Goals and Expectations

Employees want to know what’s expected of them and how they’re being evaluated. By meeting with staffers individually on a bi-monthly or monthly basis, you can address productivity, progress towards discussed goals, professional behaviors, and whatever else comes up.

Note: Make sure to document this stuff. You’ll need it for performance evaluations, budget development, and salary adjustments.

Tip #15: Be a Team Player

Creating a team-based work environment is a great way to build strong employee relationships. Even if your business is small, encouraging collaboration and team learning is essential for creating value, generating performance, and for some, driving revenue.

Tip #16: Acknowledge Your Mistakes

If you slip-up, own it. We all make mistake, even leaders. I’m sure Bill Gates made a few blunders along the way. Point is, oversights and missteps happen and when they do, verbalize what went wrong and how to make it right.

Tip #17: Treat Your Employees Equally

First and foremost: Establish trust. That’s half the battle in terms of employee relations. In order for your employees to listen to you, they must trust and respect you. Always practice honest communication AND ensure your employment practices are consistent with the law:

Tip #18: Challenge Your Staff

Motivating and challenging are two different things. To challenge means to encourage staffers to ask questions, provide input, voice concerns, and to suggest new ways of performing tasks. Challenge your employees by giving them greater responsibilities (when appropriate) and set high standards.

Tip #19: Put Out Fires – And Quickly!

If an employee comes to you with a problem, take care of it as soon as possible or you may end up with bigger problems. If it’s an HR issue, speak with your rep right away. Employees want to know that their concerns are your concerns.

Tip #20: Never Stop Learning

Need more? Check out the links below for more helpful tips and articles on how to be the best manager you can be:

Management Masters & MBA Degrees

Liberty University
MA: Mgmt & Leadership
MS: Management
MS: Sports Management
MBA: Intl. Management
MA: Human Services Mgmt
Liberty University: Liberty University's Master of Arts in Management and Leadership program, and the MS in Management, Sports Management, International Management, and Human Services Business Management programs all emphasize ethical management practices, and help improve students project development abilities, preparing them for career advancement. Graduates are able to go on to careers as business owners, finance managers, human resource managers, among other high level management positions.
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Walden University
MS: Management
MS: HR Management
MS: Sustainable Mgmt
MS: Project Management
More Degrees...
Walden University: Walden University's MS in Management program offers many specializations which personalize the degree according to students' interests and professional needs. The MPA program in Public Management & Leadership focuses on information employees in the public sector most need to know to move up, whereas the MS in Accounting & Management and MS in Project Management programs combine specialized knowledge with sound leadership practices.
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University of Liverpool
MS: Intl. Management
MS: IS Management
MS: Operations Mgmt
MS: Global HR Mgmt
MS: Project Management
University of Liverpool: The University of Liverpool's MS in International Management, MS in Information Systems Management, MS in Operations & Supply Chain Management, MS in Global HR Management, and MS in Project Management benefit from Liverpool's international faculty and online students. For those who work in global industries, Liverpool's programs offer an unprecedented opportunity to network with classmates from around the world.
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Kaplan University
MS: Management
MS/Mgmt: HR Management
MS/Mgmt: Leadership
MS/Mgmt: Org. Dev.
MS: Supply Chain Mgmt
Kaplan University: Kaplan University's MS in Management offers students the chance to specialize in subjects that specifically relate to their professional goals, like Supply Chain Management & Logistics, Organizational Design & Development, Leadership, and Human Resources. The program focuses on the most effective management strategies as well as the practical knowledge students need have every day on the job.
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Capella University
MPH: Health Management
MS: Emergency Mgmt
MS: Human Capital Mgmt
MS: Enrollment Mgmt
More Degrees...
Capella University: Capella University offers many Master level management degrees to allow anyone to find the degree that will help them advance on their personal career track. In addition to the MPH in health management, Capella offers Master of Science degrees in Emergency Management, Enrollment Management, Human Capital Management, and more. Masters programs feature multidisciplinary approaches that combine specialized subject matter with practical management sciences knowledge, like organizational and financial theory. In all Management programs, effective leadership and communication skills are emphasized.
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Ashford University
MBA: Project Management
MBA: Environmental Mgmt
MBA: HR Management
MBA: Supply Chain Mgmt
MBA: Global Leadership
Ashford University: Ashford University's MBA programs are offered with a selection of more than a dozen specializations, including Project Management, Environmental Management, HR Management, Supply Chain Management, and Global Leadership. All MBA students learn to integrate sustainable business strategies and sound economic principles with knowledge of their specific industries. Ashford U is accredited by WASC Senior College and University Commission, 985 Atlantic Ave, Ste 100, Alameda, California 94501, (510) 748-9001, wascsenior.org.
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American InterContinental University
MBA: Management
MBA: Healthcare Mgmt
MBA: HR Management
MBA: Operations Mgmt
MBA: Project Management
American InterContinental University: American InterContinental University's MBA degree in management allows for unique program specializations in many industries, such as healthcare management, HR management, operaitions management, and project management. These industry-current programs incorporate practical knowledge in the student's area of focus with best practices theories, case studies and interdisciplinary perspectives on leadership and business knowledge. Course content reflects current trends and policies that affect the modern corporate environment.
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