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5 Essential Tips Every New Manager Should Know

Learn how to make the most of your new role and cultivate a management style that you can be proud of.

The Hugo Team
The Hugo Team
The team transforming meeting productivity
5 Essential Tips Every New Manager Should Know

Starting in a new management position is far from easy, with new responsibilities, goals, and workplace relationships to deal with. Before just jumping in, first-time managers should take a second to brush up on their communication and leadership skills, as well as learning about what a good manager looks like.

To give you a helping hand, we’ve collected the very best tips for new managers. In these five tips, you’ll learn how to make the most of your new role, cultivating a management style that you can be proud of.

We’ll be discussing:

These ideas will ensure that new managers hit the ground running, providing you all the best tips that will help steer you in the right direction.

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Delegation is one of the most powerful tools in your toolbox

When you start a management role, you’ll quickly learn that the number of tasks you’re expected to handle or manage increases significantly. However, you’ll also now be able to designate these smaller tasks to people on your team, delegating to reduce your workload and make sure your department gets more done each day.

One of the critical parts of delegation is knowing which employees will fare best with specific tasks. While one person may be a fantastic performer in a particular role, another equally skilled employee may dislike that specific task. Knowing your team and then delegating accordingly is a vital skill that you need to adopt early on to be a great manager. 

By delegating your task list out to your team, you’ll be ensuring that all of the to-do points for the day get done ahead of time without overwhelming any one particular employee.

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Relationships are crucial to a successful company

As a first-time manager, you might believe that being a leader is all about, well, leading. Although there’s undoubtedly an element of having a good level of control over your team, you should also prioritize building a relationship with each of your team members. As a team leader, you should aim to have a personal rapport with your employees.

According to Gallup’s research, when an employee has an open and approachable manager, they’re much more likely to be engaged in their everyday work. By building towards a level of familiarity with your team, you’ll be able to ensure they feel more comfortable in the workspace and perform better.


Additionally, by actually getting to know your team, you’ll be able to delegate tasks to them with ease. Once you have a rapport with an employee, they’ll be able to explain to you which tasks they enjoy and which they’d prefer not to do. By asking questions like these early on in your management position, you’ll establish a task list that’s personalized for each of your employees.

Suppose you’re looking to put the right foot forward when starting as a new manager. In that case, you should always prioritize relationship building. Open communication allows you to understand your team better while also allowing them to feel more comfortable with you at the helm. 

Considering an employee is 2x more likely to be disengaged if they have little contact with their manager, you should always try and create an open dialogue with your team.

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Honest feedback is the key to productivity

New leaders often shy away from the word feedback as they assume it involves ruffling a few feathers in the workplace. However, feedback - both negative and positive - is a vital tool to drive productivity and to provide employees with a method of directly improving at their jobs.

Your feedback can help the entire team refine their working techniques, pointing them to new skills they should start employing or further helping them along the way to their career goals.

Feedback leads to a more consistent performance, with this often being the boost that employees need to feel they’re on the right track. Also, try not to limit giving feedback to just your annual performance reviews; it should be something you regularly incorporate into your one-on-one meetings. 

When giving feedback, always:

  • Start with the positive, then feed to the negative if there is any
  • Be as specific as you can and give examples
  • Give actionable advice from your feedback

By following these three tips, you’ll be on the right path to giving practical and helpful feedback to your employees.

Moreover, feedback can be a two-way street. It would help if you allowed your team to give direct reports to you on how your leadership style is working. Treat a direct report not as a personal attack, but as an opportunity to gather feedback that will make you into a better leader.

Just be sure to act upon what your team is saying to you, helping everyone improve at their job.

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First-time managers should start one-on-ones as early as possible

A good leader rests upon the firm foundation of one-on-one meetings. These are a vital part of starting well as a new manager, with experienced leaders falling back upon these as second nature.

A one-on-one meeting occurs regularly. In these, you'll discuss how your employee is feeling in their job role, if they are on track with their various projects, if they feel overwhelmed, or if there is any support you can lend them their path to success. These meetings act as check-ins and also provide the perfect place to share feedback.

First-time managers may not have come across the concept of one-on-one before. Not to worry, Hugo has supplied a range of templates for you to follow, helping you get up to speed in no time. 



Listen carefully to your employees during these 1-on-1s, making sure they feel valued and understood. Based on what your employee relays to you, you can either give them advice, offer them direct help with their work, or give them positive feedback on their excellent progress.

Here are a few tips for successful one-on-ones:

  • Schedule them regularly, and start them as soon as you start your position as a new manager 
  • Share an agenda ahead of time to make sure the employee knows what you will be discussing
  • Take notes and share them with the employee, so each of them feels heard and has a document to look back on
  • Stay focused throughout the meeting and then lay out some action plans going forward 

Frequent one-on-one meetings also allow new managers to identify any seeds of workplace conflict before they fully come to fruition. Whether that be new employees not quite feeling like they fit into the workplace, or about the behavior of one employee being bothersome to others in the department, you’ll be able to find out ahead of time.

With an incredible 2.8 hours a week in the workplace taken up by conflict, knowing what’s going on in your department can help you diffuse conflict before it arises. Doing this saves your department time and makes it a much more enjoyable workplace.

To hit the ground running, a frequent schedule of one-on-ones should be one of the first actions you take when you arrive at your new job.

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Onboarding New Team Members 

Managers almost exclusively handle the onboarding process for new hires. You’ll be in control of these new team members, often dictating how their first few weeks and months in the organization feel.

As a new manager, you’ll most likely not have gone through the process of onboarding an employee before, only having ever been onboarded yourself. Due to this, you should take time to go through the company’s processes, making sure you know exactly how your organization likes to do so.

There may be information you can send to the team member ahead of time, giving them a little bit more information about what they can expect when they arrive. Additionally, you’ll be able to send them an agenda of their first day, helping them to know where they’ll be and what they’ll be doing when they arrive.

A thorough onboarding process allows new managers to quickly lay out the foundations for a strong rapport with the new employee, while also making them feel comfortable in the team. 

Considering that team members that feel happier at work are up to 20% more productive, it’s always a good idea to help your team feel secure in their new role.

Final Advice for New Managers

A new manager has the difficult task of integrating into a workplace, demonstrating leadership skills, and building relationships with their team. Although this new management role can be overwhelming at times, an effective leader is vital to the success of a department.

For first-time managers, there is a steep learning process to overcome. But, the climb is more than worth it, putting you on the same page as your employees, honing your leadership skills, and ensuring your team enjoys working with you.

Whether you have years of management experience or are just starting in a leadership role, we’re sure you’ll do fantastic.

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