5 Big Mistakes New Managers Make

a very stupid cartoon figure is sitting on the end of a branch while sawing it off next to the tree

There are so many ways new and inexperienced managers can mess up. And then it’s so hard to recoup the support of your team. Read through the 5 big mistakes we talk about in our new manager training programs…so you can be one of the smart new managers who are not rejected by their team.

Here are 5 common mistakes many new managers and new supervisors make:

  1. They don’t invest the time to get to know their team.
    Now that you will be evaluated by team results and not your individual contribution, you need to find out what drives your team members. Get to know them personally. What are their strengths, their motivators, their aspirations, and their ideas for improvement? How can you help them be successful personally and professionally? Your sincere interest in their wellbeing will form the basis of trust that is essential to a high performance relationship that encourages high levels of employee engagement.

  2. They handle change poorly.
    New managers are either overeager to make too many changes too soon or are overly afraid to change anything. Work with your team to focus on what has worked in the past and what might be improved upon. With clear goals in mind, figure out what improvements would have the greatest positive impact and gain the agreement and support of the team to make them.  

  3. They are afraid to be human.
    Don’t let your new position of authority go to your head. Too many new managers start off by being “tough” and then regret it. You don’t know it all and in fact have much to learn from your team. Admit what you don’t know and show your eagerness to learn. A bit of humility and the willingness to show vulnerability will endear you to the team and model a respect for continuous growth.

  4. They avoid difficult decisions.
    Your job now is to think broader and solve more complex problems. Sometimes these problems are in the form of low performers. As a new manager, you need to deal with substandard performance effectively. Try to figure out what is holding the employee back and work on an individual development plan together. If, after understanding and support, there is not enough improvement, help the employee move on in a way that makes sense for both the employee and your team. Remember, high performing team members are watching. They will lose heart if there are little to no consequences for not meeting clearly set performance expectations.

  5. They don’t back up the team.It is your job to support and protect your team. When things go wrong, you must take the blame. When things go right, give the team the credit. This is the way to be a “stand up” manager…one who earns the loyalty of his followers.

Avoid these mistakes and your welcome as a new manager will be warm and sincere.

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