New Managers Face New Challenges

Whether you have been promoted, or are promoting someone to a managerial position, keep in mind there are many challenges that need to be addressed, according to recent research from AchieveGlobal, a Tampa, Fla.-based training and consulting firm.

"Rapid workplace changes often thrust brand new supervisors and managers into positions of pivotal importance without allowing them time to get acclimated," says Sharon Daniels, CEO of AchieveGlobal. "They often cannot count on busy colleagues to show them the ropes, but are still expected to produce immediately."

Daniels notes that there are new challenges that supervisors must deal with:

  • Increased demands with less support from within the organization.
  • An uncommitted, diverse and increasingly cynical workforce, including older workers who have re-entered the workforce, worn-out workers who hold multiple jobs, angry employees who resent cuts in benefits and employees with cultural and language differences that require extra sensitivity and time.
  • Constantly changing job duties, blurred lines of authority and under-supported technology.
To ensure that new supervisors are up to the challenge, AchieveGlobal offers these suggestions:
  • Build personal credibility: New supervisors can earn credibility by respecting others, acknowledging their own mistakes, following through, giving others credit and getting employees the resources they need.
  • Activate work group commitment: Identify the value of the group's work by demonstrating how each employee fits into the bigger picture, and ensuring that employees have clear direction and know how their work will be measured. Also, listening to employees and providing supportive feedback, including employees in planning and decision-making, and creating a sense of ownership of the work will promote a good group environment.
  • Engage management support: Develop this relationship by knowing and supporting what's important to the manager by offering solutions rather than problems, maintaining clarity in what they need from the manager, updating the manager on issues and asking for help when needed.
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