Making the Transition from Employee to Manager

For many people working their way through the ranks, there often comes a time when a management position opens up and provides an opportunity to move up the career ladder. Not only does this look great on the CV, but it usually also offers some people a great deal more money in their overall salary. However, with a management role ultimately comes heightened responsibility.

If you find yourself on the road to a newly fledged management position but are slightly hesitant at the types of responsibilities that come with such a role, fear not. Here are just a few honest and simple tips to help you make the transition as smooth as possible:

Understand that Your Current Relationships with Fellow Employees May Need to Change

We all watch the films and see the managers and coworkers working in harmony together, and we all wish for the same types of relationships in our own departments. But, this is very rarely the case, and when you become part of the management team, those who may have had your back before may be reluctant to help you once you step up the hierarchy.

Though, this by no way means treating your fellow peers with indifference, it does, however, say that your role will from now on be dissimilar from theirs with them expected to report to you. You will also be that person who assigns them their tasks and watches over their performance during their workday. Ultimately, you may even be responsible for their appraisals. This means you must approach them as a manager rather than that of a coworker if you are to get the job at hand done.

Approach Your New Management Role with Confidence – But Never Forget Where You Came From

The Problem with many a new manager is that feeling of power and responsibility, which can then to go the head very quickly! Just because you have made it to the managerial level, does not mean that you automatically have the right to abuse your power and treat staff members with contempt.

Look at examples of managers that you know of that treat their employees with disdain and learn from their mistakes. Alternatively, find a manager that you can aspire to be like, someone who achieves excellent results and still has an enthusiastic group of employees around them, and try to emulate the way they accomplish this.

You may have to work above your fellow peers but as you were only recently one of those very people you should be better placed to understand what works with such employees, and what doesn’t, regarding management style. This is just called being a professional, though unfortunately not every manager manages to achieve this!

Set an Example and Steer Clear of Gossip, Politics and Those Awkward Water Cooler Moments!

Though being a manager does not have to mean disconnecting yourself entirely from your one-time fellow employees, it does mean that you have to take more responsibility for your overall behavior around them. This means it is best to refrain from getting involved in rumors and gossip that does the rounds of the workplace regularly. It also means keeping your personal preferences and politics to one side as you concentrate on the job that needs doing, while hopefully encouraging others to do the same.

As a manager, if you want the respect of the workplace you must earn it! There is nothing more respectful than a manager who refuses to get involved in petty squabbles and refrains from trading personal insults or rumors. If you do have to make a pit stop at the coffee machine or water cooler, make sure you use this time to keep up your colleague’s spirits and enthusiasm while showing yourself in a neutral light. That way, over the course of time, your staff will realize you will not be engaged in such trivial matters which doe not belong in the workplace.

Do Not Allow Previous Friendships or Relationships to Cloud Your New Management Judgement

You may have made friends in the workplace that you continue to see outside of work, or you may even be in a relationship with a co-worker. If taking that managerial position has placed you above such people in the workplace you need to make extra sure that you treat them the same way as you would of your employees on a similar level. This means not showing any such preference or giving them certain advantages over other comparable workers. Though this can be one of the harder challenges of management for those with such close working relationships, this could just be your chance to prove that you are indeed a fair manager if you make a show or treating such members the exact same as everyone else.

A management role can be a fine line to tread, especially if you have worked at a company for several years as an employee and now find yourself working above those who you have known in the same capacity for many years. Ultimately, you are not there to be popular. You are there to get everybody working on the same page and thus working towards results. There will most likely be people who love you, like you, hate you and possibly even despise you – more so if they felt that you took the role they feel they should have had!

When you make it to that hard-earned profession of manager, stay professional and focused at all times and continue to work on the job at hand, day in and day out. Treat everyone with the respect they deserve, and, in time, they will offer you that same respect back.