Mastering Management: Life After a Promotion

As a general rule, companies will promote high performing and valuable members of staff to roles with far more responsibility, but what if you’ve been thrown into a totally unfamiliar world?

According to the Corporate Executive Board, 60% of new managers underperform during their first two years of the job. One Harvard professor believes this is down to individuals treating their new position as a higher-profile version of the role they’ve just left, focusing on their own results rather than managing a team.

This can certainly sound daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. To start with, people earn promotions - it has nothing to do with luck or employer sympathy. It’s important to remember that this promotion is down to your hard work and commitment, and you are obviously considered more than capable of taking on the responsibility.

Effective leadership

There are a number of steps you can take to ensure you are not only ready for your new position within the business, but are prepared to become an effective leader...

1. Manage Expectations: Understanding what is expected of you in this new position and what you expect from yourself is key - this will make for a smoother transition into the role. Misunderstandings or a misalignment of expectations will result in frustration and ultimately failure. Stay a step ahead and really get to grips with your role, tasks and boss’ expectations.

2. Find a Mentor: One of the best ways to stay one step ahead in your new role is to talk to other managers in you organisations. Accept that you still have a lot to learn and see these people as mentors - they were in your shoes once and could maybe teach you a thing or two about being a manager. It’s also reassuring to know that there are people who understand your position and can show you the ropes as you find your way.

3. Friends for Life? As a manager, regardless of the size of the company you will now have new responsibilities, not least of which may be managing former colleagues and friends, which in itself can be challenging. It’s also important to be prepared for work relationships to change. Despite working with friends, it’s paramount that favouritism doesn’t become an issue. When delegating, for example, ensure the right person has the right job, regardless of your relationship with them outside of work.

4. Lead from the front: Clear communication with your team is essential for the smooth running of projects and day-to-day management on the office so always keep your team informed about goals priorities and deadlines. This will not only help the team to stay organised and focused, it will also go a long way to establish credibility and support among your employees.

5. Motivate with Recognition: Finally, ensure that your staff feel valued and respected and that when criticism is necessary, that it is constructive rather than destructive. A recent survey from Workforce Mood Tracker survey reported that 65% of employees who were satisfied in their roles said they would work harder if they were better recognised at work, with 78% saying that being recognised for their work motivates them in their job. By acknowledging the efforts of your team, you will build confidence and encourage loyalty, hard work and increased efforts.

Trust yourself

Businesses are busy places and as much as companies would love to send their staff on “Manager 101” programmes, it’s likely you will be expected to learn on the job, explore the potential of your transferable skills and trust your own judgement.

That said, it doesn’t hurt to have some reassurance along the way. Skills Platform offers a number of useful courses for those stepping into management roles - and for those who need that boost of confidence when they get there.

With face-to-face courses such as the Practical Toolkit for new People Managers and HR Skills for Line Managers and e-Learning courses like Management Development and Leadership Development can set you in good stead and arm you with the necessary skills for a successful transition into a new position at work.

And finally remember, if you are prepared to leave your comfort zone, take responsibility for your team and never let bad days intimidate you or undermine your confidence, you’re set to beat the odds and succeed in your new role.