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4 Tips for Success for First-Time Managers

4 Tips for Success for First-Time Managers

Post By: Celeste McLaughlin, Ergonomics Manager
Produced by: Solutions Northwest, Inc. (Ergonomics Experts serving Washington, Oregon, and California)

4 Tips for Success for First-Time Managers

It can be an intimidating time when one is transitioning from being an employee to a manager of employees. While it is something to be proud of, it is also going to require the proper skills to succeed in this new role.

Here are a few 4 tips to help make your new management role a bit easier:

1. Get to know your team
Everyone’s personality on your team will be different. It is important to understand your staff on a person by person basis, which will allow you to come up with ways to play to people’s strengths instead of trying to mold them into something they may not be.

HR Analyst, Laura Handrick, suggests that you get to know “who they are as people, their personality type, how they prefer to communicate, what drives them to do a good job. If you know these things, you’ll be much better prepared to step into the management role.”

2. Don’t micro-manage, be a leader
As a first time manager, it may be easy to fall into the trap of micro-management. However, while micro-managing things can have certain benefits (control), most people will respond poorly to a controlling management style.

According to Steve Motenco, an executive business coach, “micromanagement can kill motivation, employee creativity and job satisfaction, and yet it remains the biggest beef workers have about their boss… complaints about the boss drive most people out of organizations,” says Steve.

Instead of controlling employees through micro-management, try and position yourself as a leader, not just a boss. Help everyone on your team as much as you can, serve the team’s best interest, and allow for freedom. Freedom in the workplace will encourage employees to work to a higher standard.

3. Look out for your employees
Make the job easy for everyone on the team. If employees know you have their back at work, they’re likely to have yours. “My favorite tip is that your job as a manager is to buffer your employees from the ‘crap’ that rolls downhill. It’s your job to provide tools, remove barriers and help clear obstacles so your workers can get their job done,” says Laura Handrick.

“That may mean you ask for help from HR to ensure employees are paid properly or have the right office chair. When corporate drama or company miscommunication occurs, you interpret it for your employees to reduce their stress. Your job is to manage the ‘human capital’ by working with each person, not as an automaton, but as a human being with goals and skills, but also with stress, family and fears,” says Handrick.

4. Seek outside advice
You may be the manager now, but you’re not expected to automatically know it all. Don’t be afraid to get outside help.  Don’t be afraid to sign up for extra business classes or seek the advice of seasoned veterans. Don’t understand ergonomics workstation assessments? Hire a consultant or make friends with a mentor that can share advice.

In Conclusion

Never stop learning and don’t fear change. Be proud of your accomplishment and continue to work hard at bettering your skills. You’re obviously doing something right, so don’t be afraid and enjoy the work ahead.

For more work place tips, visit and subscribe to our blog.  provides work place and ergonomics tips from Solutions Northwest Inc., an ergonomics assessment provider located in Washington State, Arcata, California, Oregon, Seattle, Olympia, Tacoma, and Portland.

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