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How To Ensure Your First-time Managers Succeed

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How To Ensure Your First-time Managers Succeed

Becoming a manager for the first time is challenging and a big step along the corporate ladder. The role requires many skills and expertise to achieve success here. Few basic skills include areas like- analyzing, networking, communication, coaching, motivating and listening.

The role is challenging, because their success is completely tied to the performance of other people. While this is a tricky path to walk, it is the beginning of upward movement in an organisation. It should be noted that upon asking what the biggest challenge is as a manager, workers in a management position said the following (Source – Forbes):

  • Dealing with issues between co-workers on my team – 25 percent
  • Motivating team members – 22 percent
  • Performance reviews – 15 percent
  • Finding the resources needed to support the team – 15 percent
  • Creating career paths for my team – 12 percent

While promoting someone in a managerial role, especially when it’s the first time, purely going by success in previous role may not be enough. Team management is a rare skill which not all individual contributors have.

Why first-time managers need support?


There are over 2 million people that are promoted into management roles in every financial year. This requires a transition from a successful employee to a successful manager. This transition is very difficult as it requires a completely different skill set from that of an individual contributor.


Since they are new to the scenario of managing people and tasks, they are prone to failures as they will rely on short-term last-minute solutions rather than see the big picture or take the difficult path. This sometimes leads to fundamental challenges which in the long run can deeply hurt the organisation.


General study research at Harvard found that 85% first-time managers receive no training at all. For someone who is going to lead the company for the very first time, the first time managers hardly receive any input in order to make them aware of their capacities and strengths.

Their plates are overflowing with the responsibilities and unending arrays of tasks which they have never faced before. For handling such pivotal parts of the business, there must be some training that has to be imparted to these warriors. Before any war, the soldiers are made to struggle and their sweat flows to showcase their training. The same way it is crucial to provide training to first-time managers.


Many of these first-time managers get their priority wrong. They only focus on getting the work done and not on the people who are getting it done. The shift is difficult because at the managerial level the priority is managing the people.

The emotions and passions of these team-members are to be directed in order to achieve the maximum potential. But the new and fresh first time managers always are focused on the output, so much so that the process takes the backseat. This can also crumble the esteem and morale of the workforce whose diligent ways are no more seen in the same light as they were before.

As a supportive boss and leader here are few ways in which you can support first-time managers.

How to support first time managers:


When a baby starts walking for the first time, he needs support. Similarly, these first-time managers need your guidance and knowledge. You have seen the ups and downs of the industry and this is the reason you are pioneer visionary of your industry. Your unmatched talent and resources will be helpful in learning for these young talents.


One of the key principles of management is – responsibility should be with respect to the authority. A balance between the two has to be maintained always. If responsibility is more than the authority then it will be difficult to get the work done as multiple visits will be done for sanctioning a project or document. Vice versa, if more authority without reasonable responsibility is given it will lead to chaos and unrest. So a proper measure of both aspects should be done.


It is critical that these first-time managers learn to deal with adversity and limited resources. Since you cannot be physically present all the time to cater to the needs of these young achievers, they should be able to rely on themselves. The only way they will start relying on themselves is by getting trained and learning the necessary skills in order to cater to the demanding times and situations.


Motivation is a crucial tool that is needed at every juncture to uplift the morale of employees. The first time managers need motivation and support more than others because now they are shouldering the responsibility of the masses who looks up to them for advice, suggestions and more. A simple conversation over coffee is enough to boost morale but it should be done regularly.

First-time managers are a fresh crop, transitioned into management after struggling, working hard and proving their worth. It is critical that they will need your support and guidance both directly and indirectly. To make them better managers who will successfully run the company, a smooth transition is needed. Their skills should transform in accordance with the current role which is where proper training and grooming sessions should be conducted.


Wouldn’t you want to equip your first-time managers to deliver what the company expects of them? Then write to us on contact@yellowspark.in

Author Profile: Deepam Yogi is an adventurer at heart, socially conscious in her gut and professionally a strategic consultant. She co-founded Yellow Spark to support organisations to build workplaces that people love being a part of. Deepam describes herself as a shy yet opinionated writer and firmly believes that most answers to complex issues lie in simple communication.