Congratulations – you’ve just been promoted to manager! You’ve worked hard, earned the move and you deserve every minute of your success. There’s just one problem. You’re now in charge of the people who used to be your direct colleagues. But how do you make the smooth transition from employee to boss without ruffling too many feathers?
Remember what it’s like
You know those things your own boss used to do that would really irritate you? Don’t do them. If you hated being micro-managed, chances are your employees will, too. Respect their space and the way they prefer to work, and you’ll avoid creating unnecessary friction.
One of the toughest parts of being a manager is having to make decisions. As an employee, you could leave that up to your boss. Now you are the boss. While you may be unsure of yourself at first, always remember that any decision is better than no decision. Employees need strong leadership, and if you hesitate or doubt yourself, you’ll lose their respect and potentially damage your reputation, too. Make the decisions, and if they’re not the right ones, learn from them for next time.
Learn to delegate
Your job isn’t to do your old employee tasks anymore. Now your job is to delegate those tasks to the people most suited to them and to manage your staff effectively. The best managers are those who are able to mentor their employees, share their knowledge and skill sets, and support their team through good times and bad. You don’t need to do their work for them; instead, you need to work with them in order to let them shine.
Expect things to change
Last week you were part of the open-plan office; this week you have your own office. Like it or not, when you move up the corporate ladder, relationships with colleagues are bound to change. You might not get invited to quite as many post-work drinks anymore – because it’s difficult to vent about the boss when the boss is there. Understand that this is a natural part of being promoted. Offset the changes by making friends with your new management colleagues; they will more than likely appreciate an invitation to happy hour!