New Supervisor Struggles
If your managers are struggling to adjust to their role leading and managing people and teams, know that they are not alone. Based upon feedback from our new manager training programs, almost one-quarter of new supervisors feel they were not adequately prepared to lead others, and their followers report not being very satisfied with their direct manager’s ability to lead.
Leading people and teams is not for everyone. Being a high performing individual contributor does not have much correlation to being a high performing leader. In fact, many high performing individual contributors do not want to manage, lead, or coach people. They prefer being an expert in their area and role.
Top New Supervisor Struggles to Conquer
Based upon data from our manager simulation assessment, most new managers face common challenges. Some will be all too familiar to you. Are your managers ready to:
- Be in Charge
New people leaders must now get work done through and with others. This is a major shift in perspective. At the same time leaders must maintain positive relationships with their team, they need to learn how to wear the mantle of authority and earn the respect of their team.Top new supervisors develop capable teams while consistently mentoring and coaching people to perform at their peak through effective employee feedback, challenging assignments, reflection, and suggestions for improvement.
Are your new supervisors ready to lead others?
- Communicate Effectively at All Levels
Effective and authentic communication is perhaps the most sought after skill for new supervisors and is one of the new supervisor struggles that, when conquered, can have the greatest impact. Leaders need to build relationships with their team and also represent them with upper-level management. High performing supervisors can communicate clearly, speak with charisma, and use stories, similes, and metaphors with passion and energy.They are also able to truly hear and comprehend what matters to others by asking insightful questions and frequently checking for understanding. High performing teams have an open workplace culture where differences are respected and open, honest conversations are encouraged.
Can your new supervisors clearly communicate at the right altitude to different audiences?
- Manage Priorities while Planning and Organizing Accordingly
High performing managers understand strategic priorities, identify which tasks are the most important, and allocate appropriate resources and time to accomplish them. Strategic clarity allows them to determine what is required to accomplish work in a way that makes sense.Can your new supervisors appropriately plan who will do what by when?
- Delegate Responsibilities Effectively
New managers quickly learn that they can’t do it all. To succeed, they must rely on their team to reach team-based goals. Top performers assign complete projects that have a clear beginning and end that fit employees’ skills and interests. They also give others decision-making authority and provide support without removing responsibility.Can your new supervisors get work done through others?
- Influence and Motivate ― Especially When the Stakes Are High
It is not easy to keep everyone on track. But the best managers know their team members personally and understand the best way to influence and motivate them as individuals. They consistently create enough urgency through ambitious goals; uncover underlying problems and present convincing arguments; overcome individual resistance to change by addressing fears and objections, convincing others to take action; and convince others to embrace the organizational vision for success.Can your new supervisors influence others in alignment with your corporate values?
- Navigate Organizational Politics to Get Work Done
Leaders and teams must often work cooperatively with other leaders and teams to succeed. Navigating politics at work is not something that supervisors can ignore if they want to advance their careers and support their team. Because politics and team dynamics are part of every organization, organizational savvy is a mission-critical competency for today’s leaders.Do your new supervisors have the confidence and competence to pay attention to workplace power and politics while using strategic influence skills with integrity?
- Manage Performance to Help People to Perform at their Peak
Top managers set clear, fair, and motivating performance expectations for their teams. They use these agreed-upon standards for achievement to hold team members accountable for their performance and behavior. They manage levels of performance pressure while simultaneously rewarding high performers and helping underperformers to improve or move on.Can your new supervisors consistently manage performance?
- Deal with Conflict
Every team will run into some kind of conflict, personality clash, or disagreement. And teams need a certain degree of constructive debate and open dialogue to build the trust required to truly get aligned to do great work together. Effective leaders help to identify and resolve conflict early in order to mitigate damage to the team.Do your new people leaders know how and when to employ various conflict resolution strategies?
The Bottom Line
Managers matter. They are the link between strategies, results, employees, and customers. With experience, guidance, skill building, effort, and encouragement, new managers can engage and conquer these top new supervisor struggles.
To learn more about being a better people manager, download 7 Immediate Management Actions to Create Alignment with Goals