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3 Strategies to Support First-Time Managers as They Transition into A New Role

2 minute read

By Lucy Rowell, Founder of Impactful Authority

We’ve all experienced the wonder when you have an amazing manager who supports you and gives you the space and opportunities to be your best self, who understands how you do your best work and helps you reach career goals you didn’t feel were possible. I’m sure that like me, you’ve also experienced the reverse of this when we don’t gel with our managers, and we’ve all seen the data that people don’t leave companies they leave poor managers. 

Let’s also be direct that what I may love in a manager and their style is going to be slightly different to what you or others may want. So, there's certainly a necessity (in my opinion) for managers to have the insight and flexibility to be able to respond to different people’s styles and needs.

While all manager transitions are important, many of us would agree that it’s the support provided by organisations as we make that first leap from an individual contributor to a manager that sets the framework for how managers may show-up for their direct reports now and in the future. 

Our experience from working with companies on just this thing is that there are three strategies which have proved the most successful. Ideally all done together.      

  1. Clear Expectations: What are the behaviours and values that you as an organisation want to see in your managers? Often, this is missing and means that there is a wide variety of experiences employees have. It can also create uncertainty and a lack of confidence in new managers on what they need to do and how they’re being measured.
  2. Ongoing support: You may be surprised how little training and support first-time managers receive. We’ve heard endless feedback on how managers are thrown into the deep end and expected to swim. Impacting both the manager and their direct report, often for a long time. Consideration into how training, manager support, mentoring, coaching, job shadowing, etc., can support the short- and long-term development of managers is a must-have.
  3. Community: Having others to connect with, whether inside or outside the organisation, is a great source of learning, experimentation and confidence for many first-time managers. Giving them the safe space to share, learn and evolve in their new roles and future careers. 

Everyone deserves a great manager. Let’s make sure we can give them one.

Good luck!


About the Author

Lucy Rowell is a coach, consultant and podcast host. She works with motivated leaders, teams and organisations to create high-performing, impactful teams often through times of disruptive change. 

Lucy has over 20 years in senior leadership roles within the area of Data Science, Commercial and Research & Development in global corporate organisations. She was previously the chairwoman for a large non-profit company, PSI. She has designed and implemented a number of innovative large team/organisational transformations and enjoys the challenges transformation brings.  

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