The official blog of Abacus Group — a place to share our knowledge and thoughts on trends in recruiting

July 23, 2019

Advice for First Time Supervisors

Serving as a manager for the first time can be daunting. It’s intimidating to now be responsible for other employees but remember, being promoted to a managerial role means your supervisors have all the confidence in you. In the time you have to transition into this new role, thoughtfully preparing will ensure you set yourself up to be a successful supervisor.

Find a Management Mentor

Before stepping into your managerial shoes, find someone in your company whose managerial style you admire and pick their brain about their experience and advice. Not only will this give you some personalized training beforehand, but it will also establish them as someone you can go to in the future if difficult situations arise.

Understand Your Role First

There is a difference between being a manager and a boss, and most likely, if this is your first time supervising people, someone is also supervising you. Ensure you and your boss have a clear understanding of what decisions are in your jurisdiction and what you need to discuss with them first.

Don’t Believe You’re Above the Work

Now that you’re the one telling others what to do, it’s easy to get a big head and think some tasks are below your pay grade. However, the best managers know there will always be times when you’re going to have to roll up your sleeves and get to work with your direct reports.

Lead by Example

Similar to the above, you don’t want your supervisees to start slacking because they see their boss doing the same. If you ask them to be in at 9 am, be in at 8:55. If you don’t want them on their phones during the workday, keep yours in a drawer. Leading by example shows you don’t have double standards.

Delegate with Intention

If you are supervising more than one person, delegating tasks amongst everyone is a balancing act you’ll have to learn how to master. As you get to know the strengths and weaknesses of those whom you manage, try to hand out tasks to your direct reports that challenge them, but are still achievable.

Ensure You Are Consistent

One of the biggest complaints people have about their supervisors is inconsistency. In attempts to avoid this, give yourself time to make decisions and be thoughtful about your actions. If you are patient and mindful, your team will not only respect your decisions but see you as a true leader.

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