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Ask Liz: As a new manager, how do I juggle my new workload with managing my team?

Ask Liz: As a new manager, how do I juggle my new workload with managing my team?
I have just been promoted into a manager role, which I’m really excited about, but I’m already starting to struggle with my new responsibilities. I’m finding it difficult to juggle my increased workload with managing others in my team. How can I make sure I am doing them, and myself, justice in my new role?

I am so happy that you have asked this question. Becoming a manager is the biggest period of transition in your career. It is up there with moving from GCSE’s to AS levels, moving house, getting married and having children. Yes, I am serious, suddenly the pace changes, your responsibilities broaden and you now have people other than yourself to think about. And folk are not always the easy part of the job.

The best managers fully engage with the people agenda whilst others just hope it will one day go away.  Some people may be thrown into the deep end into this key role with little preparation or training. The research shows that people join businesses because of the manager and very often people leave the jobs because of their manager.  I’m sure that we have all been on the receiving end of a bad manager at some point in our careers, so we know what that experience is all about. And you clearly do not want to be one of these. So we need to set you up to be the best manager you can be.

I suggest that there are three areas for you to focus one; manage yourself, manage your team and manage your network. 

When managing yourself, be aware of how you impact people, how you communicate, how you motivate, how you plan and organise. Look around the business and see whose management style you think is effective and watch what they do. 

When you are managing your team, be aware of when you are a friend and when you are a boss. How do you want the team to operate and support each other? Are you walking your walk?  Talking your talk? If you set the rules you also need to keep them. Sign up for all the management workshops and learn the skills – fast.  

Networks are becoming more important as we focus on lateral careers of experience. Take a look at your own brand, who are you meeting, what can they share with you?  For some practical guidance sign up for the free IPA mentor programme  and develop your skills and take as much advice as you can get.

At the end of the day your team look to you for clarity and guidance:-

  1. They want to know what their job is; what they are being paid to do. Make sure that they have a copy of a job description for their role and the role above.
  2. They want to know how well they are doing in their role so give them regular feedback
  3. Let them know  you have their back – what do they need  to do to get promoted, how are you supporting the development of their career? 

For those of  you who like a book or two, a great reference book for the millennial manager is Being the Boss, Linda A Hill and a simple and effective read is The 10 Management PEPs.

Last updated 05/11/2015

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